One of my back up plans for early retirement is to start a consulting business for Hollywood special effects (SFX) studios. My crack team of marine invertebrate biologists and kinesiologists will advise big studios on new scary creatures for space-based and terrestrial monster movies.
The first one’s free. The picture of the amphipod Phronima sp. above would be a good biomechanical model for an update of say, the Imperial AT-AT Walkers from “Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back”. The picture comes from the Norway-based MAR-ECO project and the global Census of Marine Life program initiative. National Geographic ran a story on the expedition here. My team will retrieve these alive for you, and keep them in an aquarium, so your SFX animators and your actors can study them.
The second one’s free, too. A prime candidate for space monster would be the amazing microscopic elephantine creature known as the tardigrade, or water bear. Folks over at Kristianstad University put these hardy little animals into space and brought them back again as part of the Tardigrades in Space (TARDIS) program. The script is practically written for you already, but we could translate. We have people on staff that speak Astrobiology. The problem with the tardigrade is that it’s lumbering, like the Stay-Puft marshamallow man. Not scary, like Phronima sp..
Wait, wait… my phone is ringing. “Hello. Hollywood?”