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Snot Worms For 200

June 3, 2010

I don’t know about you, but I’m fascinated by the sciences.  I’ve been a fan of science ever since I was a small child and, filled with the sense of wonderment and adventure that only children truly possess, was able to discover, using only my wits and a couple of common household objects, the scientific effects of flushing my mother’s wedding ring down the toilet (they’re not good effects, I can tell you that much.)

I still try to keep up with most things scientific (Non-Plumbing Variety), and I wanted to tell you today about a new aquatic species discovered by the Museum of Natural History and a group of Swedish marine biologists.  Scientists are always discovering new things;  this is what they get paid to do.  In fact, one of the biggest things they’ve discovered recently is that the economy really sucks out there and if they want to continue getting paid, they’d better come up with the goods, discovery-wise, no matter how useless that discovery might be.  Last I’d heard, there was still no word on a cure for cancer.

Anyway, these scientists recently discovered a brand new species of aquatic worm that lives on the ocean fl… OH MY GOD WHAT IS THAT THING??!  KILL IT!! SHOOT IT WITH A DEATH LASER FROM OUTER SPACE!! I’m sorry.  I shouldn’t have reacted like that.  But WOW, that is one ugly worm. Anyway,

Osedax mucofloris, also known as Phil

scientists from the Museum and the Swedish marine biologists were very excited about this new discovery, and after an evening of mature, scientific discussion most likely involving a lot of Aquavit, they came up with a name for it.  They decided to call it Osedax mucofloris, or Bone-Eating Snot Worm, which, to my way of thinking, is the most wonderful name in the history of the universe for a species strictly from a televised game show standpoint (“I’ll take Snot Worms for $200, Alex”).

It is also a name that sounds like something my ten year old son and his friends would come up with to gross out the girls in their fifth grade class.  Boys this age have not yet discovered the benefits of chasing girls for the purpose of being civil to them, so they fill up the spare time they have between punching each other and nose-picking by making up things that will freak out the girls:

Ten year old boys: Look what we found. His name is Phil.

Ten year old girls: Aw…. Hi, Phil.  What is he?

Ten year old boys: He’s a Bone-Eating Snot Worm.  And Bobby here is going to EAT him.

Ten year old girls: EEEEWWWWWWW!!!

Which, if you think about it, is fairly similar to what the scientists did when they reported their discovery to the press:

Scientists: Look what we found.  His name is Phil.

Press: Aw… Hi, Phil.  What is he?

Scientists: He’s a Bone-Eating Snot Worm.  And Bobby here is going to EAT him.

Press: Really?  Because that’s pretty news-worthy.

Scientists: No, we’re just kidding.  Actually, he’s a member of Congress.

Press: EEEEWWWWWWWW!!!

So I think we’re in good hands, scientifically speaking.  We may not have a cure for cancer, but we’ve got Phil.

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