Jennifer Akkermans


CAAF Residency st[art]@art central, November – December 2011




Morphoids are unusual creatures, identified by the distinct peeling quality of their skin. The first of the Morphoids was discovered by Jennifer Akkermans in 2010, in Fish Creek Park, Calgary, Alberta. The first Morphoid discovered, Sepal, was seen scurrying out of sight under a bush. Akkermans says, “Sepal has very effective camouflage – at first, all I saw was the movement. When I looked, I couldn’t make out exactly what was moving, and then I saw it. I had never seen anything like it.” Sepal is a creature of an unusual color, texture, and shape, and doesn’t have any sort of a face – no obvious eyes, nose or mouth. It also seems to move very quickly, but slyly, and not when it feels it is being watched.

It seemed that once Akkermans had discovered the first Morphoid, there were many more to be revealed. Since 2010, Morphoids of all shapes and sizes, have been carefully observed and photographed both in their natural environments and in the laboratory. They are unlike any animals seen before, in that the Morphoids have a few very distinct defining characteristics:

  • They are ambiguous creatures, and often seem to imitate other animals
  • They are often very vibrantly coloured
  • All have an unusual peeling skin texture on part, if not all of their bodies
  • They show no obvious facial features or genitalia
  • Their main defense mechanism is to freeze when they feel they are being watched

As a result of these discoveries, Akkermans founded the Institute of Morphoid Research. The Institute is dedicated to the study and preservation of the creatures falling within what a new phylum, Morphopodia. The Institute aims to document all aspects of the Morphoids, through many avenues of study and research, including observation, photography, video, drawing, anatomical study, collecting, speculation and eventually, dissection.

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