Fantastic specimens

Gensou Hyouhon Hakubutsukan ("Museum of Fantastic Specimens") is an online collection of creatures "curated" by Hajime Emoto. The three-story virtual museum consists of 9 rooms chock full of water- and land-dwelling monstrosities from all corners of the globe. (Navigating the virtual museum may be a bit difficult if you cannot read Japanese, so try the links below if you get lost.)

- 1st Floor: Room 1, Room 2, Room 3

- 2nd Floor: Room 4, Room 5, Room 6, Room 7

- 3rd Floor: Room 8, Room 9

- Basement: Shop, Cafeteria

Each specimen has a clickable thumbnail that links to additional photos and historical and background information (in Japanese). The basement contains a bookshop and a cafeteria serving dishes prepared with some of the beasts featured in the museum (such as umiushi sashimi, served fresh from the tank and wriggling on your plate, with a balsamic vinegar sauce).

All of the creatures showcased in the museum are sculpted from paper, modeling paste and bamboo and are completely imaginary, claims Emoto -- perhaps a disappointment for hunters of the legendary tsuchinoko (center photo above) in search of an actual specimen, but an amazing collection of critters nonetheless.

[Link: Museum of Fantastic Specimens]