Rebecca Giggs is an award-winning author from Perth, Australia. Her work has appeared in The Atlantic, the New York Times Magazine and Granta, and in anthologies including Best Australian Essays and Best Australian Science Writing. Rebecca’s nonfiction focuses on how people feel towards animals in a time of technological and ecological change. Fathoms: The World in the Whale is her first book.
Through the looking glass
GR OnlineVan Leeuwenhoek had been eager to dissect many different animals’ organs of sight in order to better understand the biological basis for vision. This knowledge, he believed, would aid in improving his microscopes. If he came to grips with how eyes worked, he might then be able to mechanically simulate a more piercing, magnifying focus by crafting better lenses. Biomimicry, of a type. He sought whale eyes specifically because of their size.
EssaySelected for The Best Australian Essays 2015 EVERY FEW MONTHS my mother flies north from Perth to Karratha with a prosthetic penis in her carry-on luggage. At check-in, she says, she watches the x-ray operator closely, anticipating their double-take. She...