Friday, August 8, 2008
Electric Gato Shark
Oh, woe indeed is the swimmer or diver who comes into contact with the Electric Gato Shark. The Electric Gato Shark is one of the deadliest marine animals in the entire world. Fortunately for all of us, it lives at such depths that the only people who will have to worry about it for the foreseeable future are deep sea divers and the intergalactic aliens who are building entire cities on the floors of our oceans as part of a complex plan to dominate the world.
The Electric Gato Shark, or "Cat" Shark in English, carries its own night light. It's so dark at the depths at which it lives that it must - otherwise it couldn't see. The Shark also glows with luminescence, which also helps it navigate the darker depths. Remarkably, the light, in addition to illumination, acts as a kind of chin beard cattle prod that the Shark uses to electrocute its prey. One touch is usually deadly. The shark then uses its thousands of tiny, razor sharp teeth to gobble up whatever it has stunned (and let's just say it's not picky). Electric Gato Sharks are insatiable, and have been known to gobble up entire giant squids in a matter of minutes. In a frightening home movie shot by a terrified deep sea diver, an Electric Gato Shark stuns a 10-foot long giant calamari and then swallows the entire animal in just over two and a half minutes.
In popular culture, an Electric Gato Shark nearly killed Aquaman in the comic book series Deep Sea Disaster. An episode of the X Files called If It's Brown... revolved around a small Electric Gato Shark living in Scully's toilet. Dickens' novel Oliver Twist has a brief scene where the Artful Dodger pickpockets an Electric Gato Shark stinger (the Victorians used the still glowing stingers as night lights) from a fishmonger and Fagan tries to sell it to a nobleman, with hilarious results. The book Eating Gato Sharks and Other Poems was read by author Mark Strand at the White House when he was inaugurated as Poet Laureate.