Wednesday, May 2, 2012

OMG Cute Animalz!!!

Okay, I would write a full-length blog post tonight, but wouldn't you rather watch a video of tourists cooing over sea otters holding hands in an aquarium?

The people in the background are freaking out about how "sweet" the otters are, presumably for their display of affection. I'm not saying this isn't cute. It's a cute bomb with a mushroom cloud over it. But you have to wonder -- if these were ugly creatures (squid, cuttlefish, elderly German tourists in teeny-tiny bathing suits...) "holding hands" while floating around in the water, would we be oooohh-ing and aaaaah-ing, or looking away in disgust?

For instance, what if it were two blobfish holding fins in the water on a fine day?
Neither a German tourist on Corfu, nor my Great Uncle Hank...
The above "blobfish" is just as sexy as his name. Put a Barcolounger underneath him, give him a pair of plaid pants that start right under the chin, and a Big Gulp-sized tumbler of Jack Daniels, and he's a dead ringer for my late Great Uncle Hank. But floating around and being affectionate at a public aquarium would've probably gotten him arrested. Now, does that seem fair?

Or, take the poor coelacanth. When these prehistoric-holdover fish get their heads stuck in Kleenex boxes, don't expect the video to get 17 billion hits on YouTube. These "living fossils" were thought to have been extinct for 65 million years, until they one was caught by a fishermen in the 1930s. For scientists, this discovery was  like finding out that a celebrity you thought died before you were born is actually still alive. (BTW, did you know that, as of this writing, Ernest Borgnine, "The Coelacanth of Celebrities," is still kicking at 95??)

The Ernest Borgnine of the Sea
Supposedly, the fish is an endangered species, but because it's not the kind of critter anyone's going to use in an unintentionally ironic ad campaign (ever wonder how much Coca Cola, Inc. has contributed to global warming, polar bear lovers?), the general public seems to care about its continued existence about as much as we care about Tom Arnold's film career (to make a reference as outdated as the above fish). Coelacanth -- it's your own fault for not being cute and fluffy!

Or maybe the Coelacanth should just find a better agent?

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