Monday, 3 September 2018

Imagine A Parasite, Attaching Itself To You,

then injecting a corrosive acid,

that dissolved you from the inside out, and then suck out and eat the mush it had created, gruesome to just think about it, but that was the fate of 1,000 lobster in an experiment that did not quite do according to plan, let's go back to 1983, Amos Barkai, a graduate student at the University of Cape Town, was investigating the effects of bird guano runoff at the beach when he noticed something that took his research in a new direction, the waters around Malgas Island were teeming with lobsters, so much that you had to move lobsters to see anything else. Meanwhile, around Marcus island, just 4 kilometers away, there were no lobsters at all. To determine why, Barkai arranged to move a thousand lobsters from Malgas to Marcus to see if they would survive and thrive. “Visibility was great that day, and virtually the entire sea bottom started to move,” he said,

that movement was countless whelks, they started to climb onto the newcomers, sticking to their legs. “I didn’t know then, but they’d started to suck them alive, basically. It was like a horror movie,” Barkai said. “It actually was a bit frightening to watch.” The lobsters simply didn’t know how to respond. They were outnumbered and overwhelmed, “To my horror, in about 30, 40 minutes, all the lobsters were killed.” the whelks had literally sucked all the meat out of the lobster shells. Barkai felt bad for the lobsters, and figured he must have conducted the experiment wrong. Then he immediately set about figuring out why the lobster prey had become the lobster predator in a nearby environment, read what they found that made the two areas different, and what it means for sea management, at Discover magazine, who would have thought it, death by whelks, the snails strike back! 

just to show there is no hard feelings towards whelks, on our last visit to the UK in March this year, we saw these for sale,

a tub of Folkstone whelks,

and delicious they were too!

No comments: