Giant Oarfish, Regalecus glesne, Adam Smith

Giant Oarfish, Adam Smith

I never thought I would live long enough to see the day they finally proved the giant pacific oarfish fish has nostrils, but the day has come. All you giant oarfish fish nostril naysayers can stuff that in your pipe and smoke it.

It turns out their nostrils are really, really small, but they are definitely there. We know, because somebody’s tax dollars paid for some guy to figure it out. Lucky stiff. Who of us wouldn’t want to make a living figuring out who has nostrils and who doesn’t?

I’d be a natural at it. Maybe even a savant.

“See that critter there with the nose and the two holes in it?” I’d say, the voice of authority. “That critter has nostrils. Now where’s my check?”

Speaking of giant oarfish, did you know it is possible to sneak up on one and scrape mucus off its side? Me neither, but people get paid to do it.

That is the job I would want if my nostril identification career fell through; fish mucus scraper.

I would be happy to start out as a lowly Entry Level Giant Oar Fish Mucus Scraper. I’d scrape and scrape, hoping to move through the ranks to Giant Oar Fish Mucus Scraper II and III, then Lead Giant Oar Fish Mucus Scraper and, finally, Senior Giant Oar Fish Mucus Scraper.

Knowing my luck, I would probably lose out to the kid of some Senior Giant Oar Fish Mucus Scraper, nepotism being what it is these days. I can hear him now. “My father scraped oar fish mucus and his father before that…” and so forth and so on. He probably wouldn’t know which end of the scrapper to hold, but he’d get the job just the same.

If fish scraping doesn’t work out, maybe I can get a job yanking out leopard seal whiskers.

I saw a documentary about a guy who does that for a living. He and his team sail to one of the most remote areas of Antarctica to check on the Leopard seals that live there. Part of his job is to belly crawl up to a leopard seal while it is sleeping on an ice floe and snatch out a few of its whiskers. When he gets back stateside, he turns the whiskers over to biologists who do whatever it is biologist do with leopard seal whiskers.

You’ll be glad to know the leopard seals are doing fine. So fine, in fact, that they’ve eaten about half of all the other types of seals that live there. One leopard seal even managed to supplement its diet with a biologist. You’ve got to admit, whoever it ate showed true dedication to their field of study. You’d think a bonus would be involved.

If I got a position on the leopard seal team, it would have to be in the capacity of In-Boat Coordinator where I would remain out of the water and pass on useful instructions to the divers such as. “Stay away from its teeth, Derrick!”

My all time dream job has to be the guys who drag fake seals through the ocean so a giant great white jumps out of the water after it. They say there is some scientific reason for doing this, but I think it is just fun to drag a fake seal through the water so a giant great white jumps out of the water after it.

Once the great white thing got boring, I could move on to other studies.

I can hear myself now.

“What if we conduct a study where we roll bowling balls at big groups of penguins and count how many penguins we knock over? That way we can prove once and for all a bowling ball will knock over a penguin.”

“Let’s drag a dead antelope past a pack of hyenas at varying speeds from 98 miles per hour to zero to determine at what speed hyenas will attempt to eat a dead antelope that was dragged past them.”

“Let’s throw firecrackers in a pond to see if the explosion scares fish.”

I could come up with fun experiments all day, but right now I am too busy trying to fill out my leopard seal whisker pulling application.