Whenever people ask me, and they often do, which Wes Anderson film best evokes what it’s like to be a scientist, I say “Why, The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou of course”.
If I thought I could fund my research by making exciting and colourful popular films about my findings, I absolutely would. The crucial difference here is that Steve Zissou et al.’s data look like this (Fig. 1).
Fig. 1 Crayon Pony Fish
Any samples I deal with are either pus or blood. Apparently the film-going public just aren’t that interested. I had assumed that this was the case for most other scientists. Then I see THIS…
Fig. 2 “Oh hai!”
Meet “Psychedelica”, a new species of fish reported by Ted Pietsch and colleagues in the journal of the American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists.
Isn’t it wonderful? Clearly the creature’s name was inspired by its migraine-inducing good looks but, as the press release points out, “Psychedelica is perhaps even more apt given the cockamamie way the fish swim”.
Members of Histiophryne psychedelica, or H. psychedelica, propel their crazy selves along by pushing off from the sea floor with their fins and expelling water from tiny grill openings on their side to jet themselves forward. They don’t seem to concern themselves with steering too much. Fortunately, they have “gelatinous bodies covered with thick folds of skin” to protect them as they bumble along looking for food.
The video is well worth a look. Little beast made my day.
Psychedelica image ©David Hall/seaphotos.com
22 hours ago