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My O’pinon: Noisy bubbles and loud buzzing

by Dave High

While growing up I loved to watch a kid’s science show called “Mr. Wizard,” so don’t misunderstand what I’m saying here.

I think science has, in the long run, provided many benefits for mankind. But today I wish to present evidence that the scientific community has completely lost its mind.

A recent study of fish by scientists in Canada and Britain revealed that – now follow me closely here – herring communicate by passing gas. Yes, that’s what I said: passing gas.

Two teams carried out this curious and expensive research project. One group studied Pacific herring in Bamfield, British Columbia, while the other focused on Atlantic herring near Oban, Scotland. It was discovered in both studies that herring create a mysterious underwater noise. It turns out that the high-frequency sound is created when the fish release air from their anuses.

My uncle Willy used to do this – drop a rose, as they say – but all it meant was that he had gone to Taco Bell for lunch.

The noise (made by the fish, not my uncle) was always accompanied by a fine stream of bubbles. Researchers suspect herring hear the bubbles as they’re expelled, helping the fish form protective shoals at night.

On an interesting note, researchers named the phenomenon Fast Repetitive Tick, which makes for a rather interesting acronym. Scientists say that unlike the human version, these FRTs are thought to bring the fish closer together. It certainly didn’t bring anybody closer to my uncle Willy.

At this point you are saying, “Okay, so these particular scientists are a few ice cubes short of a tray. They’re probably just an isolated example.”

Oh, if that were only true.

I have here another article, this one from the New York Times, concerning scientists in Switzerland who have figured out – get ready for this – how to grow extra eyes on flies.

Combining elements of the sublime and the macabre, these scientists have created flies that grow eyes on their wings, on their legs and even on the quivering tips of their antennae, according to Dr. Walter Gehring of the University of Basel.

On behalf of normal human beings everywhere, let me just say: Great! Just what we need, flies that can see even better!

As I write these words, I am unwillingly sharing my lunch with a regular unimproved fly, which is having no trouble whatsoever seeing well enough to keep an eyes on me while it walks around on my baloney sandwich. Whenever I try to whap it, the fly instantly zooms out of reach. Not that it would do me any good to kill it. Dr. Gehring would probably just bring it back to life.

When will these scientists ever learn? They’ve gone MAD I tell you! We know what’s eventually going to happen. We’ve seen this movie. Everything will be going fine at first on experiments with the fly. But then late one night after the scientists have left the lab, there will be a huge lightning storm and then there will be the flapping of huge wings and an extremely loud buzzing sound and ….

You might as well do the duck-and-cover drill. Put your head between your legs (be careful of any noisy bubbles) and kiss your baloney sandwich goodbye.