June 11, 2009

How the rare prickly shark figured out how to get out of the aquarium.

It flipped upside-down and went into a hypnotic state, which didn't look right to the visitors and guilt-tripped the researchers into putting him back in the ocean.
"Deep water animals have trouble adapting," said Ken Peterson, an aquarium spokesman. "We were a bit disappointed that it wasn't here longer to connect with visitors face to face."...

The shark is distinguished by thornlike scales and two dorsal fins near the tail. The species is found around the Pacific Rim at depths of 3,000 feet. It is a sluggish bottom-dweller that feeds on fish, other sharks, octopus, squid and crustaceans
Well, plunge some of those face-time-seeking visitors into the ocean depths and see how good they are at adapting.


Pogo said...

DOROTHY PRICKLY SHARK: Oh, will you help me? Can you help me?

GLINDA: You don't need to be helped any longer. You've always had the power to go back to the ocean.


SCARECROW: Then why didn't you tell her before?

GLINDA: Because she wouldn't have believed me. She had to learn it for herself.

DOROTHY PRICKLY SHARK: You mean all I had to do to get released from this tank was to flip upsidedown and go into a hypnotic state?

GLINDA: That's all it is!

SCARECROW: But that's so easy! I should have thought of it for you.

TIN MAN: I should have felt it in my heart.

NKVD said...

Wizard: I'll melt some butter in the skillet..."

AllenS said...

You're missing a lameness tag.

EKatz said...

This has the makings of a Pixar movie.

My favorite line:

"We were a bit disappointed that it wasn't here longer to connect with visitors face to face."

Since when do fish 'connect'?

kentuckyliz said...

Will this spark a revolution in the captive animal world? The way to get paroled is to roll over and self-hypnotize?

Captive Animals of the World, Unite!

*roll over*

*play dead*

rhhardin said...

Jean Shepherd reports universal admiration for the kid who could throw up at will, getting his own way with adults most of the time.

Kate Gosselin said...

I can think of one face-time-seeking person who I'd be more than happy to offer to you for your experiment placing human beings at the bottom of the sea.

AllenS said...

How does a shark connect? Well, let's let Bobby Darin explain:

"Ya know when that shark bites, with his teeth, babe
Scarlet billows start to spread
Fancy gloves, though, wears old MacHeath, bab
So there’s nevah, nevah a trace of red."

rhhardin said...

The hog-nosed snake plays dead if you're not impressed with his deadly Africa pit-viper act.

Strategically, the deadly pit-viper act is not a good choice. Then he wonders why people kill him, Will Cuppy says.

Paddy O. said...

I think a lot of children use this survival technique in school.

I think I was in a hypnotic state from about 7th-11th grade.

Curiously, during that time, I was likewise distinguished by thornlike scales and two dorsal fins near the tail.

We had moved from Santa Barbara to the 909. I had trouble adapting.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

"We were a bit disappointed that it wasn't here longer to connect with visitors face to face."...

Yes, the shark was a bit disappointed as well at the missed opportunity to connect in face to face encounters with his captors, but upon checking his Blackberry he suddenly realized a more pressing previously scheduled engagement. With sad reluctance, he turned over and held his breath and meditated until he was in a deep and scary trance, and thus was transported home by the strange aliens.

Upon getting home late for his wife's birthday party she said: "Oh sure, you expect me to believe that excuse. You NEVER remember my birthday. I HATE YOU!!!"

Bissage said...

You’d think these researchers would be smart enough to put Montana Wildhack in there with him.

Pogo said...

Bissage, the music in that film was beautiful.

Bissage said...

Pogo, YouTube is blocked for me right now. I’ll click your link later. Is it the scene where they arrive in Dresden? God, I loved that!

Leland said...

Captive Animals of the World, Unite!

*roll over*

*play dead*

Doesn't work for the Opossom, and it is ugly enough that you want it to be dead.

Paul Brinkley said...

At the Baltimore Aquarium, we had this rather odd-looking bull shark. Really short snout; you could pick it out easily from all of the other sharks there. We called it "Babyface".

One day, the alarm went off at the tank. Everybody ran over to see water gushing out of a basketball-sized hole near the ceiling. Blood and carcasses everywhere. You have to be careful, though; some of those carcasses are really live and quite feisty. We had teams of two quickly going to each one, poking each one gently with a (literally) ten-foot-long metal pole. Sure enough, a few of them were alive, albeit covered in blood; it was a marvel they hadn't been set upon by the others. We didn't quite know what to do; we called for medics.

Someone yelled. Apparently one had made it as far as the emergency exit. Carefully opening the door, we saw it. Or rather, the tail; it was half a flight down, sorta hidden around the corner. One brave woman ventured down the steps, shiny with blood and water (the steps; not her). We handed her the pole. She managed to work it under the shark's body and turn it over (one sure way to tell if a shark's just playing dead; they *hate* being upside down). We could see her gulp from where we were. We hurried down, and looked.

The shark's head had been ripped right off.

A little while later we heard the police report medics running for their lives from one of the "shark ambulances". When they got there, though, the vehicle was gone. An hour later, it turned up again, half submerged in the Outer Harbor.

We never saw Babyface again.

Pogo said...

Bissage, try selection number 2 from the record here.

The Dresden scene.

Big Mike said...

Some years ago I read that when dolphins are captured one of the first things we humans do is try to feed them. If they will eat, then they're okay to be sold to a dolphin show to be trained. If they don't eat, then they're returned to the open ocean, where they belong.

If only there was some way to communicate to all the marine mammals out there that when the hairless, poorly-swimming apes capture you, however hungry you are don't eat when they try to feed you. I'd miss the dolphin shows and the killer whale shows, and the trained seals. But I also get a bad feeling about the fact that they're captive, and on balance I'd rather they were free and I found something else to amuse me.

Pogo said...

Big Mike, that seems like good advice for the naked ape himself, a la Obamacare, TARP, GM, etc.

Beth said...

Well, plunge some of those face-time-seeking visitors into the ocean depths and see how good they are at adapting.

Yes! Thank you!

aser said...

Rare prickly shark captured 11-06-2009 BBC News, UK A prickly shark has been captured for only the second time ever, in a submarine canyon off the coast of California. Very little is known about the species, which has rough scales on ...
The video from the scene:prickly shark-video-online

Christy said...

I guess marine mammal folk tales don't include the caution to avoid food and drink in the enchanted lands.

Bissage said...

Thank you for that, Pogo.

I’m sorry to say I couldn’t find the “Dresden” scene I was thinking of. It was when the POWs were on the train and just arriving and they could see the splendor that was Dresden (Prague, I think, actually) and could forget, for just a few minutes, the horrors of the war and marvel at the transcendent beauty that man can be capable of. A solo harpsichord pounded away in the background, IIRC.

I looked for a clip but I failed.

rhhardin said...

My usual test for correct real audio installation is the Bach double concerto for violin YouTube largo.

Michael McNeil said...

An octopus in an aquarium had a somewhat different escape strategy, which was highly successful at stage one, but then petered out….

Octopus opens valve, floods Santa Monica aquarium

“An octopus today managed to pry loose a water-control valve at the Santa Monica Pier Aquarium, flooding the facility with more than 200 gallons of saltwater.

“The valve is inside the sea creature's tank, and officials think the octopus grabbed hold of it while exploring.

“‘It found something loose and just pulled on it,’ said Tara Treiber, the aquarium's education manager. ‘They are very smart creatures.’

“A worker arriving this morning found water overflowing out of the tank and ‘a lovely little lake’ on the floor — about 3 inches of water that damaged newly installed carpets, as well as walls and facades, Treiber said.

“The damage could have been much worse had workers discovered the open valve later — potentially harming the sea life inside, Treiber said.

“The female California two-spotted octopus has been housed at the aquarium for two months, she said.

“‘They are solitary but curious creatures,’ Treiber said.”

From some of the comments:

“It must have thought it had found a tasty bivalve.”

“Man, this is why I love the octopus. Best critter ever.”

“Luckily, I'm not a fan of calimari. I don't relish the idea of eating a creature that may be more intelligent than my neighbor.”

“‘The valve is inside the sea creature's tank.’ Sheer genius.”

“I used to be a bartender until I was laid off and replaced by an octopus. But I gotta hand it to em, they know how to multi task.”

“Never forget watching a Octopus get itself into a jar and then setting the jar top back on the jar. Octopus inside lid on.”

“Octopi are scary smart. Now that this one has learned a new trick, expect her to keep trying to do it.”

“That octopus really knows how to screw things up, he ready for the LA City Council!”

DenisEugeneSullivan said...


These are the same wonders who were surprised when the Great White shark, that they put into their tank, started eating the other fish in the tank.

Keep up the good work. I sure your government grants are on their way.

Methadras said...

I am not a fan of zoos or aquatic zoos anymore. They really should be all closed down. Zoology, anthropology, marine biology, and any science that studies animal species should do it in the field. End of story.