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Ghostcrawler explains just WTF this is, plus a drinking story


While I can't say this article has anything to do with WoW, we can't really resist posting about Ghostcrawler telling a story where there are broken bottles at a dive bar out on the beach. First though, Greg explains exactly WTF is pictured above -- an image that has been floating around the internet as of late.

It's a big isopod, somewhat related to the "rolly pollies' you can probably find in your yard. Imagine a slow, flattened shrimp with heavy armor. It's a pretty effective body plan overall, because the critters have managed to expand into a lot of niches.

The ocean is big, old and three-dimensional (related to terrestrial environments anyway, which tend to confine life to a few meters near the ground) not to mention poorly explored. There is some crazy stuff down there.

Next, the drinking story, after the break.

In graduate school, we spent a lot of time at bars. Go figure. Near the beach there are two kinds of watering holes: those for the tourists and those for the locals. We were poor, so we frequented the latter.

One night on the back porch of such a dive we got into a conversation with a severely inebriated shrimp boat captain. Seems his ship was routinely sent to Nicaragua in the summers to trawl there. He was telling us of this crazy stuff that came up in his nets -- things he had never seen before in all his years shrimping and likely new to science. Now you have to imagine the Cap'n here as like the functional descendant of those sailors who saw manatees in the West Indies and thought they saw mermaids. He was telling us about singing fish and giant crab-lobsters and sunset red octopi and totally alien species. He wanted to bring some back to us to help us out and just because he wanted to know what it was he was catching. Problem was he stayed out for months and needed his hold to ice down his actual catch and couldn't spare space for his little side project.

He asked us if there was something he could do to preserve the animals. A wiseass among us, though I swear it wasn't me, suggested vodka. There's enough alcohol in vodka to do a decent job of preserving things, given that he wasn't likely to be able to procure formalin or liquid nitrogen or the like in Nicaragua.

The Cap'n didn't take too kindly to that suggestion. He thought we were mocking him after he was being all kindred spirits and stuff. I recall yelling and shoving. Bottles may have been broken.

We saw him later on in the summer and he didn't remember the entire incident. Never brought us anything though.

In before "cool story bro."

Cool story bro.

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