Icky Cutesy Research: Gills Want Fun, Collection Oil

“An Investigation of Variables in a Fecal Flotation Technique“, by M.R. O’Grady and J.O.D. Slocombe, is one of the research studies featured in the article “Icky Cutesy Research: Gills Want Fun, Collection Oil“, in the special Formulas & Recipes issue of the magazine (Annals of Improbable Research). Read the article online. And if you like, subscribe […]

Does “the earthquake chewed my data” trump “the dog ate my homework”?

This week’s Feedback column (that I write) in New Scientist magazine has five segments. Here are the beginnings of each of them: Earthquake snack — The traditional excuse “the dog ate my homework” has a new counterpart: “the earthquake chewed my data.” … Strained fishy pun — Andrew Knapp and colleagues have added to the history of […]

Fishbase profile : The Inexplicable Shrimpgoby

The Inexplicable Shrimpgoby (Cryptocentrus inexplicatus) was named as such by the American ichthyologist (fish studier) and lichenologist (lichen studier) Albert William Christian Theodore Herre c. 1934. It’s one of more than 33,000 fish species listed by the online resource Fishbase – A Global Information System on Fishes (a branch of the Philippines-based Q-quatics group). It’s not immediately obvious […]

Science/Music Pairing: Dark Eyes

Here’s another in our series that combines published research papers with musical performances that suitably accompany them. “Dark eyes in female sand gobies indicate readiness to spawn,” Karin H. Olsson, Sandra Johansson, Eva-Lotta Blom, Kai Lindström, Ola Svensson, Helen Nilsson Sköld, and Charlotta Kvarnemo, PloS ONE , vol.12, no. 6 (2017): e0177714. “Dark Eyes,” performed […]

Innovative Scientists Talk About Their Childhood (12): Olga Shishkov and the flopping fish

Here’s Olga Shishkov talking about some flopping fish who, when she was a child, excited Olga in a way that led to her eventual unusual career. Olga studies how maggots manage to do some of the surprising, impressive things they do. ABOUT THIS LITTLE VIDEO SERIES—This is part of a series of sessions we (David […]

“A Jackass and a Fish”—Doctors save the life of a Fish-Called-Wanda imitator

This young man who swallowed a fish As part of a party tradish- ion he followed with friends: Unhappy? Depends. The young man has gotten his wish. That limerick is a hasty summary of the medical case described in this newly published study: “A Jackass and a Fish: A Case of Life-Threatening Intentional Ingestion of […]

Shocking fish therapy for hemorrhoids (and other ailments)

If you were unfortunate enough to be suffering from hemorrhoids, would you consider applying 350 volt electric shocks to the affected area – supplied via an electric fish? Improbable though it may seem, such practices were well known in Roman times – predating modern TENS machines by some 2000 years. “Ecclesiastes 1:9 states that there is […]

Music discriminations by carp (Cyprinus carpio)

“Prior to this series of experiments, the prevailing opinion appeared to be skepticism as to whether koi could discriminate one piece of music from another under any circumstances. Now it appears that these animals can discriminate polyphonic music, discriminate melodic patterns, and even classify music by artistic genre.” Koi (Cyprinus carpio), which are members of […]

Leaping fish injuries and the trauma center [podcast 70]

Fish (specifically sturgeon) leaping into the air and colliding with young human boaters are biggest stars in this week’s Improbable Research podcast. SUBSCRIBE on Play.it, iTunes, or Spotify to get a new episode every week, free. This week, Marc Abrahams  — with dramatic readings by Nicole Sharp — tells about: Injuries from leaping sturgeon—  “Sturgeons Versus Surgeons: Leaping Fish Injuries at a Level 1 Trauma Center,” Jason P. […]