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Named after a tiny single-cell organism that was declared extraordinarily trippy by the scientists who discovered it, Hallucigenia was a small, relatively short-lived art group based out of 604. Hallucigenia was an art scene experiment that encouraged its artists to produce work to the best of their ability and placed little or no restrictions on what they could release. It was started by an ex-Mistigris member, Etana in June of 1998 and released its last pack in February 1999.

Hallucigenia's packs featured ANSI art, ASCII art, hirez art and scanned in "real world" art (like sketches and paintings). Work was released through HAL's website and its home BBS, DoDEL.

Hallucigenia sparsa is the name of a "velvet worm" or onychophoran known only from fossils in the  Cambrian Burgess Shale formation, found in the Canadian Rocky MountainsHallucigenia have long spiny legs projecting at right angles from a wormlike body, with claws at the end.  They also have long spiny projections coming out of their backs, also at 90-degree angles to each other.  This makes it look like a row of "X"'s connected by a central tube, making it look something...like...some...obscure piece of electronic equipment.  The following diagram may help, but again, it may not:

  \  \/ \/ \/ \/ \/ \/ \/  /
   / \/ \/ \/ \/ \/ \/ \/ \ m
  /  /\ /\ /\ /\ /\ /\ /\  \

The organism was named during studies of the Burgess Shale in the early 1980's.   At that time, the only Hallucigenia fossils known showed only the spiny protrusions on their back. The first reconstruction of a Hallucigenia from these fossils was upside down, resulting in an even more bizarre appearance for the creature than was the case.

Hallucigenia have some small tentacles on the ventral side at one end (the m), but their function is unknown.  To this day, scientists still cannot tell which end of a Hallucigenia is which, and only know which side is down from the claws at the ends of the creature's feet.

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