Wednesday 5 September 2012

Green Bomber

Image: Casey Dunn
Maybe it's all the unexploded bombs they keep finding round these parts. They come in with the tides, cause trouble at sea, or find a place in the household before someone eyes it suspiciously and says "wait a minute, that's no doorstop!"

Whatever the cause, when I hear 'Green Bomber' I immediately think of the Lancaster Bomber. Strangely enough, when I hear 'Lancaster' I think: Burt Lancaster - Burt Reynolds - Burt Reynolds' Buttocks. But that's not my fault, that's Dana's fault. Such things can't be unseen, can't be forgotten. They lurk, and acquire six degrees of separation from everything else you know.

We must escape. Escape death from above. Escape Burt's spiritual death by Behind. We must escape to the dark places where the worms are. Untroubled by iron and steel or... cheeks. We will fill the nothingness with our dreams. We will build our own stars. And our stars will be beautiful. Beautiful and fully clothed.

It's Swima bombiviridis, described in 2009 and the first of the 3 species in that genus to be discovered. They are another of those peculiar annelids who swim in the ocean, far above the muddy ground in which their kin worm and squirm.

Like their close relatives, the Squidworm, Green Bombers use their long parapods to undulate through the sea in a manner at once mesmerising and obscene, beautiful and disgusting. Like when Tom Waits sings.

When they feel threatened, the Green Bomber finally lives up to its name.

Many worms in the Acrocirridae family have four pairs of gills behind the head that fall off quite easily. It's a dubious ability, but Green Bombers have really turned it to their advantage. Their gills are orbs that readily detach and glow green in the darkness for up to a minute.

Living over 1,800 metres (6,000 feet) below the ocean's surface, a glowing blob is probably the most compelling evidence of food a predator will ever get. So while a fish or squid or whatever investigates the light, the worm itself swims away tail first, its head lolling back and forth in apparent glee.

Both adults and young have these bombs and can use them when necessary. They could probably use them just for fun, too, if they wanted. I wish our "weapons of peace" were like that.


FaustXIII said...

Yeah... I still like tomopteris...

TexWisGirl said...

you were on a tangent for a while, there. :)

Joseph JG said...

@FaustXIII: What we really need is a Tomopteris to glow blue, flash yellow and then drop green bombs!

@TexWisGirl: I know! I had to work through those issues.