Pharyngula

Beneath the mysterious waters of the Sea of Japan, strange symbolic artworks have been spontaneously appearing — intricate mandalas, six feet in diameter, dot the sandy bottom. What could they mean?

Perhaps the aliens have been making these all along, at the same time they’ve been sending secret messages in crop circles. Perhaps they are manifestations of the Universal Consciousness, erupting into expressions of cosmic beauty. Maybe their meaning is their mystery, telling us to appreciate more what we do not know.

Nah, I don’t go for any of that mumbo-jumbo. Scientists put video cameras underwater, and caught the creator in the act. It’s this little puffer fish, a few inches long.

Using underwater cameras the team discovered the artist is a small puffer fish only a few inches in length that swims tirelessly through the day and night to create these vast organic sculptures using the gesture of a single fin. Through careful observation the team found the circles serve a variety of crucial ecological functions, the most important of which is to attract mates. Apparently the female fish are attracted to the hills and valleys within the sand and traverse them carefully to discover the male fish where the pair eventually lay eggs at the circle’s center, the grooves later acting as a natural buffer to ocean currents that protect the delicate offspring. Scientists also learned that the more ridges contained within the sculpture resulted in a much greater likelihood of the fish pairing.

I don’t believe in cosmic consciousness, but I do believe horny little animals will go to great lengths for sex.

Comments

  1. #1 Paul Holstein
    United States
    September 21, 2012

    Obviously a case of Intelligent Design. ;-)

  2. #2 Michael Kelsey
    SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory
    September 21, 2012

    Outstanding (and gorgeous artwork, too). I wonder if this lends credence to the theory that crop circles arise from British boffins trying to impress their dates?

  3. #3 Dolly Sheriff
    September 22, 2012

    And you actually believe this is the result of blind chance and a few million years!

  4. #4 morgan_g
    Sunny South Africa
    September 22, 2012

    @Dolly Sheriff
    Do you have a more plausible explanation? Please share with us.

    (Note the “more plausible” bit)

  5. #5 Dolly is a stupid loser
    September 22, 2012

    Dolly has nothing but fairyland stories and thousand year old tales. Stupid b*tch

  6. #6 Steven Earl Salmony
    Chapel Hill, NC
    September 22, 2012

    What do you imagine Galileo is doing tonight? My hope would be that the great man is resting in peace and that his head is not spinning in his grave.

    How, now, can Galileo possibly find peace when so few leaders and experts speak out clearly and loudly regarding whatsoever they believe to be true about the distinctly human-driven predicament that could soon be confronted by the family of humanity which results directly from the unbridled overproduction, overconsumption and overpopulation activities of the human species now overspreading the Earth and threatening to ravage the planetary home God has blessed us to inhabit? Many too many leaders and a predominant coterie of the’ brightest and best’ experts are choosing to remain silent. Please consider how the elective mutism of so many of the most fortunate and knowledgeable elders among us could be contributing mightily to the ruination of Earth as fit place for human habitation.

    Where are the leaders and experts who are willing to openly support science that is being presented in solid research and validated empirical data? Look at the dismaying disarray in which we find ourselves now and how far we have to travel in a short time to move the human community away from precipitating some unimaginable sort of global ecological wreckage.

    What would the world we inhabit look like if scientists like Galileo had chosen to adopt a code of silence? In such circumstances, Galileo as well as scientists today would speak only about scientific evidence which was deemed by the super-rich and most powerful people of the day to be politically convenient, religiously tolerable, economically expedient, socially correct and culturally prescribed. By so doing, Galileo and modern-day scientists would effectively breach their responsibilities to science and duties to humanity to tell the truth as they see it, as best they can report it. If science does not overcome silence, then everything the human community believes we are preserving and protecting could be ruined.

    Perhaps there is something in the truthful reports of research from intellectually honest and moral courageous scientists regarding the colossal environmental and geological impact of the rapidly growing human population on the Earth that will give Galileo Galilei moments of peace.

  7. #7 Gould
    Harare
    September 24, 2012

    I mean, yeah. But why are puffer fish making mandalas? It’s totally cosmic energy. One could still say.

  8. #8 Christopher Stephens
    September 25, 2012

    Dolly Sheriff wrote:
    “And you actually believe this is the result of blind chance and a few million years!”

    Don’t forget natural selection! (which is not equal to blind chance!)

  9. #9 mgawa mgawa
    why?
    September 28, 2012

    well if u guys were not so bent on taking the piss out of new agers and neo mystics u may have noticed that these are line for line the impression sound makes in a viscous medium such and water or ferro fluid. how is it a puffers hormone driven creativity mirrors a completely different order of patterning? nature is a awesome thing. magical even. piss poor explainers and dispiriting geeks be damned.

  10. #10 mgawa mgawa
    September 28, 2012

    i like goulds comment ..needless to say.

  11. #11 Anna S.
    October 1, 2012

    I actually think that the puffer fish is a way cooler explanation than any Universal Consciousness handwaving. I’d actually be a little concerned if any Universal Consciousness or Greater Being or alien species or what have you chose to express itself in relatively small designs on the ocean floor. All of those entities should seriously aspire to bigger things if they want to manifest themselves.

    A puffer fish attracting a mate and at the same time protecting his future young? That’s pretty awesome and resourceful! If even a puffer fish can figure out this sort of thing, it sort of makes me laugh at True Believers (TM) that invest such heavy portent in this kind of thing. The fish have figured it out. Shouldn’t people expect more of their chosen higher power?

  12. #12 LionBitch
    October 5, 2012

    Why would you need to believe in horny little animals going to great lengths for sex ? Every kid before entering puberty knows these days that that’s what drives most things alive. But again, you had to go and make it about belief, didn’t you ? Even when it’s an obvious, scientifically established fact that every kid knows about, that life is horny…you need to make even little fishies about belief. And oh, you weren’t the first of course, all those evil New-Agers did it first with their claims, you just countered them ! Guess what, you stooped to their level and again publicly ridiculed yourself. Seriously, how deep do those issues of yours with “cosmic consciousness” run ? Most people just work through shit like that in therapy, but to sprinkle their crap all over the web…how old are you ?

  13. #13 LionBitch
    October 5, 2012

    Lost myself in too many words the first time around. Simply put…any scientist interested in objective truths would’ve not used the words you did. No need to “believe” in the little fish being horny, they are or they aren’t. Given your choice of words, it’s unmistakeably clear, as is from much of your other writing, that for you it’s all about belief. Belief in materialism, physicalism and what have you. Nothing wrong with materialism etc., but they’re hypothetical like any other position about the universe at this point of our knowledge. You’re not an agnostic, like any reasonable person on the planet, you’re a bring crusader. Not gonna bother from her on out.

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