By Aimee Nezhukumatathil

Aimee Nezhukumatathil is the author of three books of poetry, most recently Lucky Fish. She is a professor of English and teaches poetry and environmental lit at a small college in Western New York. She is obsessed with peacocks, jellyfish, and school supplies. Follow her on Twitter: @aimeenez.

  1. Aimee Nezhukumatathil's previous World of Wonder columns for The Butter can be found here. With a heavy but happy and wonder-ously stinky heart, I’m sharing that my time here on The Butter has come to an end. As I mentioned last time, I’ve had to trim my outside projects to focus on a couple of book projects during my sabbatical. But not before ending this column with my favorite specimen of all time…

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  2. Aimee Nezhukumatathil's previous World of Wonder columns for The Butter can be found here. I’m so excited to talk about this animal, friends! But first: I should mention that my time here on The Butter is sadly coming to an end. I have just one more entry for the World of Wonder column at the end of the month. I’ll be on sabbatical at the small college where I teach, and that means I…

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  3. Aimee Nezhukumatathil's previous World of Wonder columns for The Butter can be found here. Here in Western New York, August means mosquitoes. It also means corn, means mosquitoes, means blueberries, means humidity, and means mosquitoes. Mostly mosquitoes. Seriously! I just counted five while having a coffee on my deck at 7:30 in the morning. What I wouldn’t give to have a little potoo bird (or three) in my backyard to catch those blood-thirsty beasties! Alas,…

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  4. Aimee Nezhukumatathil's previous World of Wonder columns for The Butter can be found here. It must be summertime, full of outdoor dance parties and cookouts, because I just cannot get enough of dancing animals. But there was some exciting news this past spring out of Kerala, in southern India (where my dad’s side of the family is from), and I’ve been tracking this discovery carefully because I knew I wanted to share…

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  5. Aimee Nezhukumatathil's previous World of Wonder columns for The Butter can be found here. This week gives us a little tough dear from the island of Madagascar. I say tough because zoologists thought it was extinct back in 1937, due in part to the unfortunate folklore surrounding these little guys. Legend has it that the aye-aye were/are harbingers of death, and if you saw one, you were supposed to kill it on the spot. But sure…

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  6. Aimee Nezhukumatathil's previous World of Wonder columns for The Butter can be found here. Oh, you Butter-y dears! I’ve been on the road so I’m just now catching up on all the great soundtracks for various animals you posted in the comments of last week’s Superb Bird of Paradise. Love them all, and major props to the folks who posted and tweeted the awesome cartoon gif of the SBP—that just might be…

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  7. Aimee Nezhukumatathil's previous World of Wonder columns for The Butter can be found here. The semester is over, my final grades are turned in, and one of the first things I like to do to herald summer is to have a little dance party. This year? I’m partial to the smooth beats of my original Thriller album. This was the first album I bought with hard-won allowance, so I get a wave of nostalgia…

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  8. Aimee Nezhukumatathil's previous World of Wonder columns for The Butter can be found here. Those of you who know my poetry know that I am just a weeeee bit obsessed with fruit. One of my favorite things to do when I travel is to sample a selection of local fruit, whatever happens to be in season. Here in western New York, I love to treat my family and friends to the bevy of…

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  9. Aimee Nezhukumatathil's previous World of Wonder columns for The Butter can be found here. This translucent little cutie can fit in the palm of your hand and eats “marine snow”—that tasty bit o’ sea life dander and detritus that sloooowly trickles down to the very bottom of the ocean floor. Scotoplanes globosa is a type of sea cucumber that sports five to seven pairs of tube feet, which can be inflated/deflated to scoot-march around…

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  10. Aimee Nezhukumatathil's previous World of Wonder columns can be found here. Thanks everyone for your patience while I hit pause on the column for a bit. Me and my trusty intern, Haiku the Wonder Chihuahua, are back to our regularly scheduled wonders after a bit of a mid-semester and AWP conference hiatus. This week, I give you the world’s tiniest flower: Wolffia, otherwise known as watermeal. Each plant is almost spherical—more football-ish actually—…

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  11. Aimee Nezhukumatathil's previous World of Wonder columns for The Butter can be found here. I’ve just returned from taking my kids on a surprise visit to Disney World’s Animal Kingdom (cue “The Circle of Life” here). And as such, have been thinking about hearts and blood and valves and hearts and thumps and extremes in the animal world—the biggest ______, the fastest_______, the smallest ______. But I wasn’t always like this—my seven year-old,…

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  12. Aimee Nezhukumatathil's previous World of Wonder columns can be found here. When you talk about basket stars (Gorgonocephalus eucnemis), you have to talk about moxie. A basket star isn’t a sea star—it travels as it pleases across sponges and coral with its five arms, not on tiny tubed feet like a sea star. Basket stars are the biggest of all brittle stars—from tendrilly arm to even more tendrilly arm, basket stars measure about three…

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  13. Aimee Nezhukumatathil's previous World of Wonder columns can be found here. There’s almost three feet of ice-snow pack on the ground where I live, Dear Ones. I am so thirsty for color. I just painted my nails “Tidal Wave.” Desperate times, desperate measures, folks. Cabin fever and winter-weariness affects so many of my friends and students who, like me, are NOT skiers and would rather not be outside in the negative nine-degree weather.

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  14. Aimee Nezhukumatathil's previous World of Wonder columns can be found here. In this edition of World of Wonder, the focus is on what you don’t really get to see of a very grouchy and grabby plant. The fleece flower is one of the world’s most invasive plants and it can grow and stretch to be almost thirteen feet tall in just over two months. In fact, real estate deals have gone sour at the…

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  15. Aimee Nezhukumatathil's previous World of Wonder columns can be found here. Just on the heels of National Penguin Awareness Day (January 20), I wanted to turn the spotlight on the smallest of the penguin family: the fairy penguin. Fairy penguins (also known as little blue penguins) live in rookeries along the coast of Australia and New Zealand. These little guys grow to only about a foot tall and keep their signature indigo feathers waterproof…

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