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Half a century ago, Belgian Zoologist Bernard Heuvelmans first codified cryptozoology in his book On the Track of Unknown Animals.

The Centre for Fortean Zoology (CFZ) are still on the track, and have been since 1992. But as if chasing unknown animals wasn't enough, we are involved in education, conservation, and good old-fashioned natural history! We already have three journals, the largest cryptozoological publishing house in the world, CFZtv, and the largest cryptozoological conference in the English-speaking world, but in January 2009 someone suggested that we started a daily online magazine! The CFZ bloggo is a collaborative effort by a coalition of members, friends, and supporters of the CFZ, and covers all the subjects with which we deal, with a smattering of music, high strangeness and surreal humour to make up the mix.

It is edited by CFZ Director Jon Downes, and subbed by the lovely Lizzy Bitakara'mire (formerly Clancy), scourge of improper syntax. The daily newsblog is edited by Corinna Downes, head administratrix of the CFZ, and the indexing is done by Lee Canty and Kathy Imbriani. There is regular news from the CFZ Mystery Cat study group, and regular fortean bird news from 'The Watcher of the Skies'. Regular bloggers include Dr Karl Shuker, Dale Drinnon, Richard Muirhead and Richard Freeman.The CFZ bloggo is updated daily, and there's nothing quite like it anywhere else. Come and join us...

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Monday, April 06, 2009

THE STRANGE STORY OF BARRY THE POLYCHAETE

Don't you just love the English. In the 19th Century an intrepid explorer would travel for years across trackless wastes and impenetrable jungle, and eventually reach their destination: a malaria-infested swamp in the middle of nowhere that they would proudly call `Picadilly`

Now, this is a similar syndrome. At Newquay's Blue Reef Aquarium, "something" had been causing havoc in one of their reef tanks. Matt Slater, the aquarium's curator, said:

'Something was guzzling our reef but we had no idea what, we also found an injured Tang Fish so we laid traps but they got ripped apart in the night.

They finally found the culprit: a four foot long tropical polychaete worm which had probably arrived as a juvenile in a shipment of living rock.

'That worm must have obliterated the traps. The bait was full of hooks which he must have just digested.'

Mr Slater said:

'It really does look like something out of a horror movie. It's over four feet long with these bizarre-looking jaws.

We also discovered that he is covered with thousands of bristles which are capable of inflicting a sting resulting in permanent numbness.'

At the risk of sounding like Lloyd Grossman, let's review the evidence:

1. Giant polychaete worm
2. Ugly to the point of something out of H.P.Lovecraft
3. Destroys a whole fishtank and eats fish
4. Can digest fish-hooks
5. Four feet long and probably growing
6. Can deliver a poisonous sting which permanantly numbs the person stung

Do they call itany of the following?

a. Satan
b. Hitler
c. Blair
d. Beelzebub
e. Devilworm
f. Cthullu

No

They call it Barry! Don't you just love the English. It is at times like this that I am so very proud of my race. It is dogged stolidness like this which got us an Empire. Well done lads and lasses! You have made an ageing manic-depressive Imperialist very proud of you.

However, I have another problem. The animal-keeper in me is overwhelmed by complete avarice. I want one!

1 comment:

Musicman195959 said...

How would you care for a 4 foot worm? What would you keep it in? Let me know if you ever get one. Hopefully you'll make a video of it. Take care.