Swept Out to Sea

Purple-striped jelly, Medusa de rayas púrpuras, Chrsaora colorata

You know you should be working or at least being more productive than just surfing the web, but you can’t help yourself sometimes. This was true the other morning for a couple of my coworkers. Worker #1 observed, probably on the Drudge Report and promptly began to grumble aloud that Wall Street is seeking $6 billion in FEMA assistance for damages from Hurricane Sandy. Next, doing his best dog imitation, “Oh look a squirrel”, he spied a link to another article about the mystery of the giant eyeball found of the coast of Florida being solved.

Spoiler alert here, the eye belonged to a swordfish. All this commotion drew in Worker #2, who googled “giant eyeball” and corroborated that it once belonged to a swordfish. There must have been a lot of squirrel activity going on in that cube, because a moment later I hear from Worker #2, “This fish looks like Ziggy.”

Worker #2 had found a Christian Science Monitor slideshow entitled, “The 20 weirdest fish in the ocean“. Ziggy is #2. Also, check out #7, a male jaw fish, a known mouth breeder, not to be confused with a mouth breather. At this point I got totally drawn into the discussion, including the recap of how my two coworkers had gotten to where they were. You can call me Worker #3, if you like.

I don’t mean to denigrate either of my coworkers. They are both hard-working guys. This very brief episode was totally the exception. Normally, we labor long hours trying to figure out whether tab A should really go into slot A or maybe it would be better to insert it into slot B. Making paper airplanes can be terribly complicated.

These purple-striped jellies ebb and flow with the currents of their aquarium tank. Summer currents carry the purple-striped jelly into the waters just off of Monterey’s shores. When it arrives, you’d better keep your distance, its sting isn’t fatal, but can be painful.

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