Insect metamorphosis: a four-way Chinese anagram

February 25, 2010

For ambigrams based on reflection and rotation, natural word choices include mirror, symmetryleft/right, up/dn, etc. With Chinese anagrams, though, different words are formed by rearranging the same components, and especially appropriate word sets would be those that reflect that idea. Insect metamorphosis — the seemingly impossible process by which the constituent parts of a mealworm or caterpillar are reassembled into a beetle or butterfly — is what came to mind. First I created a Chinese anagram of larva/pupa, which was an obvious and easy one. Then I realized that with a few modifications I could add adult to the mix — and then I noticed that, by pure serendipity, I could get egg as well with no re-working of the couch!*

So here it is — the complete holometabolic cycle visualized as a Chinese anagram:

Chemistry is another field with some very appropriate subject matter for Chinese anagrams — phases of matter, chemical reactions, that sort of thing. And of course there’s always Ovid.


February 22, 2010

The Chinese word for “egg” looks a lot like its English counterpart. It only takes a little tweaking to make it a proper ambigram.