Ramblings about what I encounter within the realm of the geosciences, as well as the occasional rant about nonsense.

03 April 2009

Shai-Hulud Discovered to Hate Coral

Or for those who aren't geeky enough to know a Dune reference when they see one, I am talking about the Great Worms of Arrakis. In all seriousness though, there was a problem at an aquarium in Cornwall recently (click here for the Daily Mail article. Near as I can tell, this isn't an AFD prank, but it is also from a paper referred to as the "Daily Fail"). At night, the coral reef displays would be torn up, and occasionally some of the fish in the exhibit would become injured. The staff of the aquarium set to the task of identifying the culprit, but none of their traps were successful.

Eventually, they resorted to dismantling the exhibit to unearth the culprit. That's when they found it. Meet Barry:s/he (I can't tell which it is, or if it is both...) is a four foot long (!!!!) polychaete, that was responsible for breaking 20lb fishing lines and probably digested (or at least passed) the associated hooks, and in some cases ripping the coral in half!!! More terrifying is the fact that workers at the aquarium discovered Barry is capable of inflicting permanent localized numbness in humans (at least that is what the article said).

So to conclude. Big ass annelid, breaks 20 lb fishing line, eats hooks, rips through coral, AND causes permanent localized numbness is found in a tank. What would you do? Run from the room screaming? Grab a gun and keep squeezing till the trigger goes click? Abandon the aquarium and let the rule of the giant sea worm begin? Well, the aquarium moved Barry to his/her own tank.

hat-tip to Baziak on this one.

Edit: Apparently, this is my century post. Yay....

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All the Latin on this page is from my vague recollections from High School. There are mistakes in the text. I just was trying to get the point across

Between Los Alamos,NM and White Rock, NM

Between Los Alamos,NM and White Rock, NM
The photo of the travertine spring was taken in the small opening in the center of the image.

Lectio Liber