Mahenus Species in Tamaris | World Anvil


Mahenus is a medium sized flatfish found predominately in the warm coastal waters off the southern shore of Tamaris. They are quite bony, and the meat is oily with a strong scent. Few people enjoy eating mahenus, but it is considered a delicacy in some parts of Etra. The upper side is cream colored with darker speckles while the underside is completely white. They have very fine scales that are almost invisible to the naked eye. They weigh between 10 and 17lbs. Notably, the soft underside has healing properties. It has been used successfully on burn victims being both less painful to apply and replace and speeding up the growth of new skin. It is a natural moisturizer and used as a treatment for dry skin and dermatitis. However, the skin is labor intensive and time consuming to process, and not all fish have skin that is ideal for use. Great care must be taken to avoid puncturing the skin, so traditional methods of harpooning the fish can't be used.   Processing the skin involves soaking it in warm water to clear away any impurities and gently running a specialized scaling knife along the skin to remove both the scales and any debris. The water has to be changed daily, and after two days, the skin is scraped smooth on both sides so that only the top layer of skin remains. It has to remain moist and out of direct sunlight until application. Depending on the size and severity of the affected area, the skin must be replaced at least every three days and at most every week. For maximum effect, the skin must also be wrapped in cloth to protect it from the sun.   The fish primarily eats small crustaceans and other fish and relies on camouflage to hunt. It can individually control long spines on either side of its body to bury itself in the sand and become almost invisible. Mahenus primarily hunt in shallow waters beyond the reach of sharks. They reproduce by laying thousands of eggs just beyond the surf. Hundreds of fish gather together at night, and the waters turn white with millions of eggs. Fewer than 1% of the eggs will hatch and fewer still will survive to adulthood.

Cover image: by Alishahr


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