Grg Lstr's linkdump and thoughts on science, family and things in the ocean that would kill you if given the opportunity.

Category: Don’t Go In the Water (page 1 of 11)

Prey to Your Cod

Here is Why I don’t Go into the Water:

Catch of the day: Great white shark leaps out of the water to steal a fish off of a Cape Cod fisherman’s line!

WIDGITW: More on Orcas

We all know that orcas are clever. Just last week, we talked about the trouble they are giving fishermen in Alaska (sperm whales, too, which is just adorable).

They roam in packs, dress and black and cause trouble. They’re the 50s juvenile motorcycle gang members of the ocean. While I doubt this is new behavior, orcas have been pegged for killing great white sharks off the coast of South Africa, including this fifteen footer:

Shamu on the third step, give me back my liver…

According the article, they are apparently into shark liver, which tells you that even killer whales don’t go for that shark fin soup nonsense.

WIDGITW: Orca Gangs Run Wild

A report on how packs of orca are wreaking havoc on the Alaskan fishing industry. Bonus fun: Sperm whales have been getting in on the act:



Why I Don’t Go In the Water: Cockeyed Squid Look At Me Funny

I can't have a conversation with you if I can't look you in the eyes.

I can’t have a conversation with you if I can’t look you in the eyes.

The New Scientist reports that folks have figured why the cockeyed squid is just so.

The findings provide the first behavioural evidence that the two eyes are adapted to look in different directions. The large one points upwards to spot prey silhouetted against the sky. The smaller one points downwards to spot bioluminescent organisms against the darkness below.

Makes sense.

Of all the creepy crawlies of the ocean, squid are amongst the creepiest, but they’re just fascinating creatures nonetheless. Still, I wouldn’t go in the water with them.  shiver

A Hot Crustacean Band

I do have to confess, I am not a big fan of crustaceans. A not entirely shocking confessional, I know, given my how I peg the life aquatic on my fondness meter. It is strange, because I spent most of my childhood picking crayfish (not crawfish or crawdads, thank you, we’re Pennsylvanians) out of the Wissahickon Creek (Crick is also acceptable) as often as I could. Also strange, because I would annually beg for a temporary hermit crab pet when we went downna shore.

Perhaps what ruined crabs for me was this scent from the Blue Lagoon. While most kids watched for glimpses of Brooke (not Crick) Shields swimming in the buff, I always returned to this scene with a sense of horror and fascination:


Which gets me back to crustaceans. Crabs. Lobsters. What have you. They’re just unsettling. (Not woodlice, erm, roly-polies, which are technically crustaceans, not bugs).  Insects–and arthropods, in general–are unsettling to some, but not me. No, crabs and lobster. No matter how much butter or Old Bay you put on them, I’m just not a fan of their look, their taste or, frankly, the unnerving way we boil them alive.  The exception is shrimp, but they are merely a conduit for cocktail sauce, which itself is merely a carrier of horseradish.

So, when I see scenes like this:

View post on

I can’t help but be unnerved, unsettled. There, in the dark depths are unseen scuttling horrors with which humanity has no true business. Feeding off of the dead and dying forms that sink to the bottom. So crustaceans, in all their many forms, are why I don’t go in the water.


Sketchy Wikipedia Claims:
“Marine crustaceans are as ubiquitous in the oceans as insects are on land”

Source A:  The Australian Museum says:

“Just as insects swarm on land, crustaceans dominate the seas. Crustaceans include animals such as prawns, crabs, lobsters, barnacles, shrimps, yabbies, as well as garden slaters and pillbugs.”

…which isn’t the same as “ubiquitous” Also, yabbies? Apparently, a type of crayfish. I might have to start using that one. Either way, they aren’t attaching numbers to compare insects to crustaceans.  However, maybe not in total numbers, but function?

Source B: The Icelandic Fisheries says:

“Crustaceans in the ocean are comparable to insects on land which they are actually related to.”

No numbers here either.  I couldn’t find anything quickly to honestly compare. However, we should probably remember that that there are a lot of krill out there (and that link has a nice primary source). So, what do they mean by “as ubiquitous as” in this case? Numbers? Niche diversity? I dunno. Maybe numbers–krill are small and oceans are big. Who knows?

Still, just a reminder to kids that Wikipedia is delightfully inconsistent.


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