Alpheus Hyatt Verrill

Alpheus Hyatt Verrill, known as Hyatt Verrill, (23 July 1871 – 14 November 1954) was an American zoologist, explorer, inventor, illustrator and author. He was the son of Addison Emery Verrill, the first professor of zoology at Yale University.

He authored many books on natural history and science fiction works.

A Hyatt Verrill 1927
A. Hyatt Verrill c. 1927.


Hyatt Verrill wrote on a wide variety of topics, including natural history, travel, radio and whaling. He participated in a number of archaeological expeditions to the West Indies, South, and Central America. He travelled extensively throughout the West Indies, and all of the Americas, North, Central and South. Theodore Roosevelt stated: "It was my friend Verrill here, who really put the West Indies on the map.”

During 1896, he served as natural history editor of Webster's International Dictionary, and he illustrated many of his own writings as well. In 1902, Verrill invented the autochrome process of natural-color photography.

Amazing Stories October 1926
The October 1926 Amazing Stories cover-featured the first installment of Verrill's "Beyond the Pole"
Amazing stories 192701
Verrill's novelette "The Man Who Could Vanish" took the cover of the January 1927 Amazing Stories
Amazing stories quarterly 1928fal
Verrill's novella "The World of the Giant Ants" was the cover story for the Fall 1928 Amazing Stories Quarterly
Amazing stories 193507
Another installment of a Verrill serial,The Inner World, took the cover of the July 1935 Amazing Stories

Among his writings are many science fiction works including twenty six published in Amazing Stories pulp magazines. Upon his death, P. Schuyler Miller noted that Verrill "was one of the most prolific and successful writers of our time," with 115 books to his credit as well as "articles in innumerable newspapers."[1] Everett F. Bleiler described Verrill's "lost race" stories as "more literate than most of their competition, but stodgy."[2]

When the Moon Ran Wild (1962) was published posthumously using the name Ray Ainsbury.


Verill's books were praised for their entertaining writing style but were criticized by biologist Joel Hedgpeth for containing "outrageous fabrications" to appeal to younger readers.[3] Geneticist H. Bentley Glass wrote that Verill had written a number of entertaining works but his Strange Prehistoric Animals and Their Stories was riddled with errors and what passed as fact in the book was "hardly distinguishable" from fiction.[4]

Lionel Walford, a marine biologist, wrote in a review for Verrill's Wonder Creatures of the Sea that the literary quality is "nullified by its lack of scientific dependability".[5]

Other reviews were entirely positive.[6][7] For example, his Harper's Book for Young Naturalists was described as factually reliable and a "valuable hand-book for the library of home or school".[8]



  • A-B-C of Automobile Driving (1916)
  • Along New England Shores (1936)
  • America's Ancient Civilizations (with Ruth Verrill) (1953)
  • The Book of the West Indies (1917, 1919)
  • The Boy Collector's Handbook (1915)
  • The Boy's Book of Buccaneeers (1927)
  • The Boy's Book of Whalers (1927)
  • Cuba Past and Present (1928)
  • Foods America Gave the World (1945)
  • Getting Together with Latin America (1918)
  • Great conquerors of South and Central America (1943)
  • Harper's Book for Young Gardeners (1914)
  • Harper's Book for Young Naturalists
  • Harper's Gasoline Engine Book (1914)
  • Harper's Wireless Book (1913)
  • The Heart of Old New England (1936)
  • The Incas' Treasure Cove (1932)
  • The Inquisition (1931)
  • Islands and Their Mysteries
  • Islands of Spice and Palm (1915)
  • Jamaica of Today (1931)
  • Knots, Splices and Rope Work (1912; 1946)
  • Lost Treasure: True Tales of Hidden Hoards (1930)
  • Minerals, Metals and Gems (1939)
  • My Jungle Trails (1937, 1941)
  • The Ocean and Its Mysteries (1917)
  • Perfumes and Spices (1940)
  • Precious Stones and Their Stories
  • Rivers and Their Mysteries
  • Romantic and Historic Virginia (1935)
  • Secret Treasure: Hidden Riches of the British Isles (1931)
  • Shell Collector's Handbook (1950)
  • Strange Animals and Their Stories (1939)
  • Strange Birds and Their Stories (1938)
  • Strange Creatures of the Sea (1955, 1959)
  • Strange Customs, Manners and Beliefs (1946, 1969)
  • Strange Fish and Their Stories (1938, 1948)
  • Strange Insects and Their Stories (1938)
  • Strange Monsters and Their Stories
  • Strange Prehistoric Animals and Their Stories (1948)
  • Strange Reptiles and Their Stories (1937)
  • Strange Sea Shells and Their Stories (1950 [but listed in the 1938 edition of "Strange Birds"])
  • The Strange Story of Our Earth: A Panorama of the Growth of Our Planet as Revealed by the Sciences of Geology and Paleontology (1962)
  • They Found Gold; True Stories of Successful Treasure Hunts
  • Thirty Years in the Jungle (1929)
  • Under Peruvian Skies (1930?)
  • West Indies of Today (1931, 1937)
  • Wonder Creatures of the Sea (1940)
  • Wonder Plants and Plant Wonders (1939)
  • The Young Collector's Handbook (1948)
  • Never a Dull Moment: The Autobiography of A. Hyatt Verill (2008)


  • Beyond the Pole, Amazing Stories (October 1926)
  • The Man Who Could Vanish, Amazing Stories (January 1927)
  • Plague of the Living Dead, Amazing Stories (April 1927)
  • The Voice from the Inner World (1927)
  • The World of the Giant Ants, Amazing Stories Quarterly (Fall 1928)
  • The Bridge of Light, Amazing Stories Quarterly (Fall 1929)
  • The Inner World, Amazing Stories (July 1935)
  • When the Moon Ran Wild (1962)


  1. ^ "The Reference Library", Astounding Science Fiction, March 1955, p.152
  2. ^ Bleiler, Everett Franklin; Bleiler, Richard (1990). Science Fiction, the Early Years. Kent State University Press. p. 772. ISBN 0-87338-416-4.
  3. ^ Hedgpeth, Joel W. (1956). Reviewed Work: Strange Creatures of the Sea. The Quarterly Review of Biology 31 (1): 42.
  4. ^ Glass, Bentley. (1949). Reviewed Work: Strange Prehistoric Animals and Their Stories. The Quarterly Review of Biology 24 (2): 146.
  5. ^ Walford, L. A. (1940). Wonder Creatures of the Sea. Copeia 1940 (3): 209.
  6. ^ Ackerknecht, Erwin H. (1946). Reviewed Work: Strange Customs, Manners and Beliefs. The Quarterly Review of Biology 21 (4): 421.
  7. ^ Smith, Ella Thea. (1953). Reviewed Work: The Strange Story of Our Earth: A Panorama of the Growth of Our Planet as Revealed by the Sciences of Geology and Paleontology. The Quarterly Review of Biology 28 (1): 41.
  8. ^ Anonymous. (1914). Reviewed Work: Harper's Book for Young Naturalists. The Sewanee Review 22 (2): 255.

Further reading

  • Who Was Who in America, Vol 3: 1951-1960.

External links

Addison Emery Verrill

Addison Emery Verrill (February 9, 1839, Greenwood, Maine – December 10, 1926, Santa Barbara, California) was an American zoologist.

Cephalopod size

Cephalopods vary enormously in size. The smallest are only about 1 centimetre (0.39 in) long and weigh less than 1 gram (0.035 oz) at maturity, while the largest—the giant and colossal squids—can exceed 10 metres (33 ft) in length and weigh close to half a tonne (1,100 lb), making them the largest living invertebrates. Living species range in mass more than three-billion-fold, or across nine orders of magnitude, from the lightest hatchlings to the heaviest adults (O'Dor & Hoar, 2000:8). Certain cephalopod species are also noted for having individual body parts of exceptional size. The giant and colossal squids, for example, have the largest known eyes among living animals (Nilsson et al., 2012:683).

Cephalopods were at one time the largest of all organisms on Earth (Smith et al., 2016), and numerous species of comparable size to the largest present day squids are known from the fossil record, including enormous examples of ammonoids, belemnoids, nautiloids, orthoceratoids, teuthids, and vampyromorphids. In terms of mass, the largest of all known cephalopods were likely the giant shelled ammonoids and endocerid nautiloids (Teichert & Kummel, 1960:6), though perhaps still second to the largest living cephalopods when considering tissue mass alone (Vermeij, 2016).

Size, and particularly maximum size, has been one of the most interesting aspects of cephalopod science to the general public and scientists alike (Glaubrecht & Salcedo-Vargas, 2004; O'Shea & Bolstad, 2008; Guerra & Segonzac, 2014; Hogenboom, 2014; Paxton, 2016a). This is evidenced by the regular coverage given to the giant squid—and more recently, the colossal squid—in both the popular press and academic literature (see Ellis, 1998a; Roper & Shea, 2013; Rosa et al., 2017). Due to its status as a charismatic megafaunal species, the giant squid has been proposed as an emblematic animal for marine invertebrate conservation (Guerra et al., 2011). Life-sized models of the giant squid are a common sight in natural history museums around the world (Tratz, 1973; Ellis, 1997a, b), and preserved specimens are much sought after for display (Landman & Ellis, 1998; Ablett, 2012).

Giant cephalopods have fascinated humankind since time immemorial. The earliest surviving records are perhaps those of Aristotle and Pliny the Elder, both of whom described squids of very large size (Gerhardt, 1966:171; Muntz, 1995; Ellis, 1998a:11). Tales of giant squid have been common among mariners since ancient times, and may have inspired the monstrous kraken of Nordic legend, said to be as large as an island and capable of engulfing and sinking any ship (Salvador & Tomotani, 2014). Similar tentacled sea monsters are known from other parts of the globe, including the Akkorokamui of Japan and Te Wheke-a-Muturangi of New Zealand. The Lusca of the Caribbean and Scylla in Greek mythology may also derive from giant squid sightings (Ley, 1941), as might eyewitness accounts of other sea monsters such as sea serpents (Lee, 1883; Ellis, 1994b).

Cephalopods vastly larger than either giant or colossal squids have been postulated at various times. Perhaps the most notable of these is the so-called St. Augustine Monster, a large carcass weighing several tonnes that washed ashore on the United States coast near St. Augustine, Florida, in 1896. Zoologist Addison Emery Verrill of Yale, at the time the country's foremost authority on cephalopods, was initially convinced that it represented a previously unknown species of gigantic octopus, and even proposed for it the scientific name Octopus giganteus (Verrill, 1897b, c). However, having received tissue samples he quickly retracted his original opinion, identifying it instead as the remains of a whale (Verrill, 1897g, h, i). Nevertheless, the possible existence of such a gargantuan octopus was taken seriously well into the 20th century (Johnson, 1989:9; Milne, 1995:171), until reanalyses in 1995 and 2004 of the original tissue samples—together with those of other similar carcasses—showed conclusively that they were all masses of the collagenous matrix of whale blubber (Pierce et al., 1995; 2004).

Cephalopods of enormous size have featured prominently in fiction (see Garcin & Raynal, 2011; Barrère, 2017). Some of the best known examples include the giant squid from Jules Verne's 1870 novel Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea and its various film adaptations; the giant octopus from the 1955 monster movie It Came from Beneath the Sea; and the giant squid from Peter Benchley's 1991 novel Beast and the TV film adaptation of the same name.

Clinton Hart Merriam

Clinton Hart Merriam (December 5, 1855 – March 19, 1942) was an American zoologist, mammalogist, ornithologist, entomologist, ethnographer, and naturalist.

Government House, The Bahamas

Government House is the official residence of the Governor General of the Bahamas.

Built on a hill known as Mount Fitzwilliam and completed in 1806, this imposing stuccoed-coral-rock building on Duke Street is the Bahamian archipelago's foremost example of Georgian Colonial architecture. In 1814, Colonel Don Antonio de Alcedo, a Spanish scholar and soldier, wrote admiringly of its effect. The Oriental Herald, in 1825, stated: "The new Government-House, standing on the centre of the ridge that overlooks the town, was built by a sum voted by the House of Assembly from the funds of the Treasury and cost upwards of 20,000l. It is built in the European style of architecture, and is universally considered the best building of the kind throughout the West Indies".The building's original neoclassical aspect, as well as its stone construction, was directly influenced by the arrival of Loyalists from the southern United States in the 1780s. Previously most Bahamian buildings had been built of painted wood. Typically Bahamian elements, however, include louvred wood shutters and brightly painted exterior, in this case a brilliant shade of conch-pink. The primary façade, centred on a pedimented entrance supported by four stout Ionic columns, dates from the 1930s, when the building was remodelled following the hurricane of 1929.

Green anaconda

The green anaconda (Eunectes murinus), also known as common anaconda and water boa, is a non-venomous boa species found in South America. It is the heaviest and one of the longest known extant snake species. The term anaconda often refers to this species, though the term could also apply to other members of the genus Eunectes.

The green anaconda's scientific name is derived from the Greek εὐνήκτης, meaning "good swimmer", and the Latin murinus, meaning "of mice", for being thought to prey on mice. "The name first was probably from the Sinhala language of Sri Lanka, formerly Ceylon, and that in 1869, the Englishman John Ray wrote of "anacandaia of the Ceylonese, i.e., he that crushes the limbs of the buffaloes and yoke beasts." For more than one hundred years the name was applied to a (python) snake from Ceylon, but in the nineteenth century experts began to use it for a snake residing in the Amazon basin.

Hispaniolan solenodon

The Hispaniolan solenodon (Solenodon paradoxus), also known as the Haitian solenodon, or agouta, is a solenodon found only on Hispaniola, the island shared by Haiti and the Dominican Republic. It was first described by Brandt in 1833. A similar but smaller species, Marcano's solenodon (S. marcanoi), once lived on the island, but became extinct after European colonization.

St. Augustine Monster

The St. Augustine Monster is the name given to a large carcass, originally postulated to be the remains of a gigantic octopus, that washed ashore on the United States coast near St. Augustine, Florida in 1896. It is sometimes referred to as the Florida Monster or the St. Augustine Giant Octopus and is one of the earliest recorded examples of a globster. The species that the carcass supposedly represented has been assigned the binomial names Octopus giganteus (Latin for "giant octopus") and Otoctopus giganteus (Greek prefix: oton = "ear"; "giant-eared octopus"), although these are not valid under the rules of the ICZN.

A 1995 analysis concluded that the St. Augustine Monster was a large mass of the collagenous matrix of whale blubber, likely from a sperm whale.

The Open Road for Boys

The Open Road for Boys, a boys' magazine encouraging the outdoor life, was published from November 1919 to the 1950s. The magazine was a monthly for the first 20 years and then switched to a schedule of ten issues a year. It began as The Open Road, which expanded to The Open Road for Boys in October 1925. Over two decades later, the title changed to Open Road: The Young People's Magazine in April 1950. During its final year, the title changed to American Boy and Open Road with the July 1953 issue.

Clayton Holt Ernst was editor-in-chief of The Open Road. It was originally published by The Torbell Company, 248 Boylston St. in Boston, Massachusetts. The founding officers were Ormond E. Loomis, President, Clayton H. Ernst, Vice-President, and Wm. C. Blackett, Treasurer. They derived the company name from the initials of the magazine and their own last names: T[he]O[pen]R[oad]B[lackett]E[rnst]L[oomis]L[td].

By 1940, the circulation had climbed to 301,000. Beginning in 1944, the art director was Jack Murray (1889-1965), who was also the art director of Outdoors, Child Life and Salt Water Sportsman.


Verrill is an English surname. Notable people with the surname include:

Addison Emery Verrill (1839–1926), first professor of zoology at Yale University

Alpheus Hyatt Verrill (1871–1954), American archaeologist, explorer, inventor, illustrator and author

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