Image and text:
courtesy of The Institute of Critical Zoologists.
Smooth Nylon Shrimp Defense, The Blue Seas. Japan. 1958. Hiyo Ameisenhaufen.
posted by Matsuo, on 11/08/2009
Between 1955 and 1961, Dr Hiyo Ameisenhaufen (Dr Peter Ameisenhaufen as he is known in other sources), after his alleged disappearance, visited The AMSL – Akajima Marine Science Laboratory and pioneered an important seminal work on the study of bio-luminousity of deep sea creatures. During that period, he made a total of 3,000 images working under the auspices of the University of Akajima, the former Marine Biological section of the ICZ. They were published as 45 plates comprising 350 photographs in a collection titled The Blue Seas.
What is of interest here are the unclear origins of Dr Ameisenhaufen’s biographical materials.
European sources indicate that (Peter) Ameisenhaufen was born in Munich. The most widely known and accepted source comes from Joan Fontcuberta and Formiguera in their book ‘Fauna’ which gives a comprehensive survey of Ameisenhaufen’s life until the 1954, the year he allegedly joined the AMSL.
The following is a statement which Endo took on board the Hiyo Maru when Ameisenhaufen regained consciousness.
Akira Endo What is your name?
Hiyo Ameisenhaufen I do not remember.
Akira Endo You are on-board the Hiyo Maru and we are heading towards Japan. We found you off the coast of Scotland. Do you know where you come from? What were you doing in the sea?
Hiyo Ameisenhaufen (Subject does not speak)
Akira Endo Is this your photograph?
Hiyo Ameisenhaufen I am not sure.
Endo hands Ameisenhaufen a mirror.
Akira Endo Is that you in the photograph? I found this photograph on you. Is your name Ameisenhaufen? That is what is written at the back of the photograph.
Hiyo Ameisenhaufen I am not sure. I may look like the person in the photograph but I do not remember.
Akira Endo I am telling you that you are Ameisenhaufen, that is the truth. We found you in the sea. You must believe me and what you see. Look carefully at the photograph.
Hiyo Ameisenhaufen I do not believe what I see, I only believe what is real. I may look like the person in the photograph but I do not know that yet. I have forgotten many things.
Akira Endo Your name is Ameisenhaufen and that is the truth.
Hiyo Ameisenhaufen For all I know, you might be right.
Akira Endo, Hiyo Maru’s log, 18th August 1955.
Translated by Akira Endo, 2001
F, Pere & Fontcuberta, J. (1988) Fauna. Spain.