This is a copepod, a critter related to the Spongebob character Plankton. It’s from a book called Histoire des monocles that came out in 1820. The scientist who wrote it, Louis Jurine, called the creatures he was writing about “monocles” because they had one eye. Unlike Plankton from Spongebob, this one-eyed microorganism didn’t live in the ocean, but in a pond near Geneva.
Louis was 60 at the time, which meant that gazing at these quick-moving guys through a microscope could get pretty hard, so he got his daughter, Christine, to look at them and draw what she saw. Sadly, she died eight years before this book was published – and he died a year before it was published.
Still, it wound up being “famous among copepodologists.” It’s also got some really nice pictures of Daphnia in it… which aren’t copepods, but are one-eyed, at least when they’re young (they get a second eye later). And you might know them as well as you know Plankton – most folks today call them sea monkeys.
[via the Linda Hall Library]