Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Armed Dolphins


Whenever I'm near an ocean, sharks are mentioned. I literally cannot enter a large salty body of water without someone mentioning sharks. Its an irrational fear until you actually see one, at which point, yeah, I'd be scared. I always point out that over the years people have claimed that many more people die each year from falling coconuts than from shark attacks. Someone claimed that each year 150 people are killed by coconuts and this statistic, true or not, has been widely used to assuage fear. Instead, it made me nervous around palm trees. I watch them sway in the breeze and flinch when people walk under them. While snorkeling this past weekend, though, I suddenly panicked as I remembered a story from several years ago that makes fear of coconuts seem rational. From the Guardian (UK):
"It may be the oddest tale to emerge from the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Armed dolphins, trained by the US military to shoot terrorists and pinpoint spies underwater, may be missing in the Gulf of Mexico."

5 comments:

BP said...

I had the shark bite/coconut thought on Tuesday as I sat by the pool. There was a very tall palm, full of big, nearly ripe coconuts. And underneath it, directly in the line of fire of falling coconuts were numerous chaise lounges full of families. It gave me chills thinking that a coconut could have fallen and easily smashed a baby's head. For reals.

jd said...

Totally. Can you find the statistic for number of people killed by sharks? I think it's something like one per year-worldwide. Personally, crossing the road scares me shitless. Look up the stat for number of pedestrians killed worldwide per day. I think it's more than one, and probably more than 150.

jd said...

And I should go swimming in the Gulf more often-I want to see an armed dolphin. Are they like Philip Pullman's armoured bears?

jd said...

Oh, and your mis-spelling of 'Gaurdian' is wrong. If you're going to mis-spell 'Guardian' it should be spelt 'Grauniad', as originally coined by the satirical magazine Private Eye it reference to the newspaper's inability to spell correctly

Charlie said...

thansk jd i seem to spell gaurdian wrong all the time. and yes, people in cars are scarier than sharks or armed dolphins. As far as i know, Pullman's armored bears have only made it as far as some books, a musical, and a movie. we're safe from them, for now.