A new study suggests that the ominous background music often heard in shark documentaries correlates with viewers' fearful and negative opinions of sharks. (For the source of this musical cliche, see the 1975 trailer for Jaws above.) From the Scripps Institution of Oceanography researchers paper in the scientific journal PLOS One:
Using three experiments, we show that participants rated sharks more negatively and less positively after viewing a 60-second video clip of swimming sharks set to ominous background music, compared to participants who watched the same video clip set to uplifting background music, or silence. This finding was not an artifact of soundtrack alone because attitudes toward sharks did not differ among participants assigned to audio-only control treatments. This is the first study to demonstrate empirically that the connotative attributes of background music accompanying shark footage affect viewers’ attitudes toward sharks. Given that nature documentaries are often regarded as objective and authoritative sources of information, it is critical that documentary filmmakers and viewers are aware of how the soundtrack can affect the interpretation of the educational content.
A person who goes by the moniker usedcatsalesman227 on Reddit took this photo at a Whole Foods in Brooklyn, remarking, "We think the merchandiser hated their job and decided to quit with this stunt as a final send off."
Taken at the Whole Foods in Brooklyn -- We think the merchandiser hated their job and decided to quit with this stunt as a final send off.Read the rest
A Chatham-Kent, Ontario man allegedly attempted to buy a 12-year-old boy's fish with fake marijuana. When the boy smartly protested about the unfair deal, the man reportedly hit him in the head. And now, the man is facing an assault charge. From CBC:
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The boy went to the man's house Saturday for a planned meeting where the boy was going to sell the man a fish. The man tried to pay for the fish with a bag of what he claimed to be weed, but the boy realized it was actually a bag of dried spices.
A new study says that this small eel photographed by accident on a Caribbean coral reef is the first green fluorescent fish ever recorded.
Where are my antacids?
A snorkeler dragged in this 18-foot dead oarfish he found just off Catalina Island near Los Angeles on Sunday. Oarfish are rarely seen this large and usually found in deep open ocean waters. Read the rest
Jeopardy! contestants often give the right response so quickly with such a short clip, but Nicholas's speedy response to this $600 question on "Fishy Science" is extremely impressive. Read the rest
Artists Walter Hugo & Zoniel installed a jellyfish tank in the front of an abandoned building in Liverpool, creating a portal through the deteriorating facade into a beautiful other world. The installation, titled The Physical Possibility of Inspiring Imagination in the Mind of Somebody Living, is live streamed to London's Gazelli Art House. (via Laughing Squid)
The likely source of a strange hum that has been disturbing residents of Hythe, near Southampton, England, has been identified: horny fish. The Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS) investigated the low-frequency noise and think it may be the sound of male midshipman fish eager to mate in a nearby estuary. "It's not beyond the realms of possibility," SAMS scientist Ben Wilson told The Telegraph. "There are certainly 'sonic fish' in the north Atlantic and the approaches to the English Channel."
Jasmine Santana of the Catalina Island Marine Institute was snorkeling off the coast about 20 miles southwest of L.A. when she spotted an 18-foot-long oarfish. It was dead. From the AP:
"We've never seen a fish this big," said Mark Waddington, senior captain of the Tole Mour, CIMI's sail training ship. "The last oarfish we saw was three feet long.""18-foot-long sea creature found off Calif. coast" Read the rest
Because oarfish dive more than 3,000 feet deep, sightings of the creatures are rare and they are largely unstudied, according to CIMI…
The carcass was on display Tuesday for 5th, 6th, and 7th grade students studying at CIMI. It will be buried in the sand until it decomposes and then its skeleton will be reconstituted for display, Waddington said.