My ShukerNature blog's official banner, very kindly designed for me by Mark North (© Dr Karl Shuker)
Yes indeed – this week is a very momentous occasion in the history of my ShukerNature blog, because it was exactly 10 years ago this week, on 20 January 2009 to be precise, that I uploaded onto it my very first (albeit very short) article (click here to access it), and the rest, as they do say, is history.
So what better way to celebrate ShukerNature's tenth anniversary than to present (in what is its 652nd article) a clickable listing of its all-time top ten articles, as determined by their respective total number of visitor hits received. And here they are, with their total hit counts as of right now included in brackets following their links:
#1 Black Lions – Manipulation, Melanism, and Mozaicism (1,303,981)
#2 Mermaid Body Found? In Search of Folk With Fins (238,085)
#3 The Truth About Black Pumas – Separating Fact From Fiction Regarding Melanistic Cougars (194,338)
#4 Half-Human Half-Rabbit Hybrid – The Tragic Truth? (141,930)
#7 Giant Sea Serpents and Chupacabra Snails – Welcome to the Monstrous Menagerie of Takeshi Yamada (98,474)
#9 Exposing Another Black Lion Photograph as a Fake (65,868)
Judging from the subjects covered by the above articles, melanistic mystery cats seem to be of considerable interest to ShukerNature readers, as no fewer than three of the top ten articles (out of a total of no fewer than 652) are devoted to the investigation of such creatures and, in particular, alleged photos of such. Intriguing images also form the basis of a further four, purportedly portraying such diverse entities as an unexpectedly fluffy moth, a bizarre bird with a gargantuan gape, a monstrously huge grasshopper, and a grotesque being likened to an incongruous human-rabbit hybrid but likely to have been something much less extraordinary yet far more tragic.
Stir into this singular mix some truly bizarre beasts conjured forth into tangible existence by the creative genius of a celebrated master in manipulation and design, plus the perennially-popular saga of merfolk, and never forgetting a remarkable amphibian whose memorable external appearance has earned for it from the ever-imaginative media an even more memorable monicker, and the result is a listing of fascinating subjects that could not be found together anywhere else online, only here on ShukerNature, along with 642 other no less enthralling and entertaining topics too.
Subjects covered in some of my top ten ShukerNature blog articles (mermaid photo (© Dr Karl Shuker; Venezuelan poodle moth © Arthur Anker; giant sea serpent gaff photo © Takeshi Yamada; © of the other photos unknown to me but presented here on a strictly non-commercial Fair Use basis only)
So here's hoping that they will continue to be of interest to readers for a long time to come, and that I will be able to continue adding further ones to their elite company.
Finally, I'm happy to say that my long-awaited, long-promised ShukerNature book will be published during this coming spring, containing an exceedingly varied selection of my blog's articles in expanded, updated form, fully illustrated throughout in colour, and supplemented by a very extensive bibliography of sources consulted by me during their preparation. Look out here on ShukerNature for further updates as I receive them.
The original and extremely beautiful artwork specially prepared for the front cover of my forthcoming ShukerNature book by renowned artist Anthony Wallis (© Dr Karl Shuker/Anthony Wallis)