We only really know a smidgeon about this most marvellous looking beastie, the king of herrings, a huge sword of sparkling silver resplendent with a crown… an oceanic majesty.
What we can tell you is the king of herrings is the world’s longest fish, up to an incredible 12 metres long. It’s a type of oarfish and more than one researcher has said that it gives off electric shocks when touched. A group of frogmen recently reported that it moves by undulating its enormous fin along its back, keeping its body quite straight. And that’s about it… it’s fair to say we know bugger all about this beauty.
So when it came to an evening talk on this king of herrings we were rather stumped as to what to say down at The Proceedings. Many people, new ages types mainly, wag their finger at us men of science and point out that ‘we think we’ve got it all worked out’ well no we haven’t… it’s actually that we are rather fascinated about this wonderful and intriguing place we call home. This of course led us to chat about what we don’t know about, a subject that could fill the entire library of The Proceedings of the Ever so Strange thricefold.
We don’t know about the universe, most of it appears to be missing for a start off, and the whole thing should be falling apart… but it isn’t. We haven’t got a clue if there is life out there… though according to the Drake equation there should be about 10,000 life forms in the universe who have the ability to communicate… and therefore countless others. We certainly don’t know if something was trying to communicate with us when a thirty-seven-second long signal came from Sagittarius in 1977, the so called Wow! signal after the astronomer on watch couldn’t help but scribble his excitement by the side of the feedout.
We don’t even know about our planet… what the weather will do from day to day or when a volcano will erupt or the ground will shake. We haven’t got the foggiest how many organisms there are, at best guess we think there is somewhere in the order of between 2 and 100 million… pretty accurate I’m sure you’ll agree. We don’t know about what is at the bottom of the ocean or what made a huge noise there in the summer of 1997… a noise that was heard by sensors 4,800 miles apart… a bloop that sounded organic in origin… a noise that could only have been made by something much much bigger than any living thing ever known.
We don’t know what causes ice ages every 100,000 years, indeed we are actually in an ice age now, an ice age that despite only seeing an average fall in temperatures of about two degrees it was enough to turn the Earth into a snowball. We certainly don’t know what will happen as the temperature will rise by four degrees in this century… though I’d warrant it’s not bally good news.
We’ve no idea why we sleep or pick our nose, we don’t know why we have pubic hair and speaking of hair sprouting up in funny places we have absolutely no idea what the point in teenagers is… when all other apes seem to quite sensibly move smoothly into adulthood. We don’t know why humans kiss, it’s certainly not genetic, there are theories that it dates from ancient times when a mother would mush up food for the wee ones in her mouth… but who could ever know. We don’t even know why we love…
Though we at The Proceedings of the Ever so Strange would love to know about love and whopping great fish and weather and aliens… what’s more we look forward to finding out just a smidgeon about them…