Posts Tagged ‘animals’

This group of creatures includes squid, octopi, and cuttlefish. They are frighteningly intelligent for creatures with no backbone. Also frightening: the swivel-hook-studded tentacles of a colossal squid.

To those who say that sea monsters do not exist: I beg to differ. Imagine, if you will, a squid 40 feet long, with tentacles that not only have tiny teeth ringing the suckers, they have swiveling hooks. Apparently scientists deduced the existence of the colossal squid based on finding squid beaks in the stomachs of sperm whales– whales which also had some serious battle scars from altercations with said squid.  What I want to know is, how many of the whales lost? We may never know. I’m kind of hoping to find out that somewhere out there is a supercolossalgigantosquid that has survived for thousands of years precisely because it was smart enough not to be discovered by humans.

Apart from growing to Vernean sizes, cephalopods also do cool things like carry coconuts with them to hide in and shoot out of the water using their jet propulsion systems. They can also escape from holding tanks, disguise themselves as other sea creatures, release a cloud of obscuring ink to facilitate escape, communicate in code, and defuse a bomb while driving an Aston Martin.


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the worst birds

I had never really thought much about seagulls before I moved to Brighton. Coming from the Midwest (no, over there– no, over there), my experience of waterfowl was limited to ducks and geese. Ducks, I like. Ducks have cute babies, and they’re very amiable– unless of course, you are taking photos of the cute babies and leaning in a leetle too close, in which case they will launch themselves out of the water with a mighty ‘QUAAACK!’ and scare the living shit out of both you and the babies. But I digress.

Geese, on the other hand, are Satan’s minions. Devilbirds. Geese are the wasps of the bird world. It doesn’t matter if you’re minding your own business and just so happen to be in the same area, they will KILL YOU. And then presumably do unspeakable things to your corpse. They are pure feathered evil.

I would argue, however, that seagulls are actually worse. If you have never lived in or been to an English seaside town, perhaps you do not quite grasp the unmitigated malevolence of these birds. Not only do they congregate in disturbingly large, Hitchcockian numbers, they possess what geese do not: a primitive kind of intelligence. Not real intelligence, since they’re birds, but a kind of animal slyness. Like a dog eyeing your sandwich who thinks that if it rests its nose on the table a couple of feet away, you surely will not notice the slow movement of that nose towards your dinner. Replace the dog with a medium-sized bird equipped with a sharp-looking beak, and you get the idea.

Another weapon in the multifaceted seagull arsenal is the noise. Geese honk. Sometimes. Seagulls, however, make a noise that makes a gaggle of geese sound like the woodwind section of a philharmonic orchestra. If you’ve ever picked up a saxophone or other reed instrument and just blown into it without knowing how to play, then you know what a seagull sounds like. Now imagine, if you will, this sound outside your window at 3am. Now imagine more than one. If they can’t intimidate you with their dead eyes and massive numbers, they will engage in a calculated campaign of psychological torture.

Geese may be murderous bastards hampered only by their webbed feet, but at least geese are stupid. Seagulls are clearly not, and they are up to something. Why else would they loiter around the piers and parks in such large numbers? They’re strategising. Remember that part in Jurassic Park where Alan Grant explains the totally real and not at all movie bullshit ways that raptors hunt? Those raptors? They evolved into seagulls.

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