May 1909. Brisbane, Australia. Fisherman Adam James Clarke makes an unusual catch. He would keep this object in his home, fascinated by it, until his disappearance 6 months later.

Adam was a dutiful diarist. In his notes we can see the slow progression of his mental state, and his deepening obsession with the cocoon.

The last diary entry is dated November 3 of that year. Adam was never seen again.

Weeks later, a fishing boat would discover what appears to be the remains of the shell, broken and completely empty.

© Eduardo Valdés-Hevia

Sources: Library of Congress, USDA Forest Service, New South Wales State Library.

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