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Vintage style photo apps wouldn’t look the way they do without common cuttlefish (Sepia officinalis). Although apps and software swim in seas of code while cuttlefish inhabit salty water they are connected by 1880s use of cuttlefish ink to develop photos. Prints developed using cuttlefish derived sepia toner remained monochromatic, but stark white highlights were softened with a wash of red-brown tint. By converting silver bromide into more stable silver sulphide sepia toner from cuttlefish ink also enhanced photograph longevity. Long before photography was invented sepia ink was used by the Ancient Greeks and Romans for writing. Cuttlefish aren’t the only cephalopods to produce ink coloured by melanin, the same group of pigments that human skin and hair is coloured by. Octopus ink is black, squid ink blueish-black, and cuttlefish ink is reddish-brown. Lets call cuttlefish the redheads of the cephalopod realm.

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Outdoor Swimmer
June 20

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