We've always enjoyed the museum in Cardiff, particularly the Natural History collection. We've been so often, the kids know it inside out. So we started (for fun and mischief) misinformation visits. I'd make up ludicrous 'facts' about the creatures we were looking at, and the kids had to try and stay straight-faced. It was more fun if other families were near by, and I'd make up more and more outlandish 'facts' about them, hoping that someone would try and correct me. Noone ever did, whether through indifference or fear I don't know.
Recently I started a similar thing, for my own amusement on Facebook, focusing on deep sea fish. I've pasted all the entries below, I hope you like 'em. I plan on starting a new series imminently.
In today's episode of 'Why I won't live at the bottom of the sea', meet Stoplight Loosejaw (an excellent band name). He swims behind the eyes of the wicked, and eats good dreams.
Today's 'no diving' comes courtesy of the Gulper or Pelican eel. Although technically a fish, the gulper eel will still give you the screaming terror-shits by hypnotising you by repeating your darkest fears in an almost inaudible whisper and swallowing your cat whole.
Today's deep water beauty comes courtesy of the Faceless fish. Rediscovered in 2017, it is a type of cusk eel with no face (it has eyes buried deeeeeeep beneath the skin). It feeds on despair, consistenly bashes into you and emits a frequency that causes you to make a brown underpant.
The obvious aquatic contender tonight, the beautiful angler fish. Designed directly from the nightmares of children. The only thing more horrible than their 'pretty light, pretty light, ACTUAL MONSTERness', is their weird mating. There's probably one under your pillow. They've got lovely personalities though.
Fine, you asked for it. Tonight we pay hommage to the spiny-toothed Deepsea LizardFish. That's right, it's *not* a true lizardfish, but you won't worry about that when you're cheerfully mooching along the ocean floor and BAM! He whickersnickers out and snaps his jaws shut on you. They eat everything, especially your eyes, and like to play lullabies on tiny wind-up music boxes whilst sneaking up on you.
Why should we stay on land today Lyd? I imagined you asking that and I'm pleased you asked. Today you should avoid the briney depths that are home to the cutesily-named Cookie Cutter Shark. Sharks aren't that bad are they? This one scoops out big circular chunks of your flesh with it's bandsaw-like teeth. It doesn't wear socks, it's favourite music is the Lighthouse Family's 'Ocean Drive' which it plays on repeat at you, and it's favourite drink is warm squash.
"Lyd", I'm making up you saying. "Lyd, I'm off to the municipal pool tomorrow, and I'm worried I won't soil myself in fear". Don't worry, my sweet imaginary friend. Let me tell you about the sweetly-named Fangtooth. So called, because of it's massive fang-ed tooth(s plural). Teeths. Whatever. If you looked it up, you might find it is relatively harmless, but what you won't find on Wikipedia, is it speaks in a very monotonous voice, usually going on and on about Brutalist architecture. It only likes watching Eastern European animation from the 60s and boasts incessantly about it's ability to make 'the perfect ragout' (which it can't). As soon as you are bored to sleep, it pops your eyes and drinks the goo. Legit nasty.
All cosied up my chums? Snuggle down and I'll tell you the story of Fluff Bunkins. My mistake, it's Horror Show, the Deep Sea Dragonfish. Oops. Like a less-cuddly chest-burster, the Dragonfish lures prey with its pretty light-up cheeks, belly spots and wavy terror-barbel. It makes it massive needleteeth extra nightmare by being able to open its jaws past 100 degrees and eating anything it can fit in. It claims to like 'long walks, star gazing and vibrant discussion'. What it actually likes is 'sneaking about, shredding living tissue and champing it into a pulp', but it found it got less dates with that. Its favourite programme is Top Gear. Stay away from the light Carol Anne.
It's been a bit rainy today, and in case you are planning on walking in any very, very, very deep puddles, let me intoduce you the Goblin Shark. It's got really horrible table manners, a giant weird fish nose and is described as a 'living fossil'. Or an 'actual nightmare'. It's most recognisable feature is it's reedy nasal laughter. Frequent sender of unsolicited nudes, the Goblin shark has no concept of personal space. Look at the gif below. See that fish, that's your head. One minute you're trying to avoid its uncomfortably personal questions, the next you're looking at its horrid fishy uvula. Lame. Swipe left.
Tonight's bedtime piscene offering is really sweet and very pretty.
I totally lied! Meet the viperfish. What's not to like about a nest of snaggle needle teeth that are somewhere near your eyes when you close your mouth. Snatchy, hingey jaws for eating everyone, hooray! They are prone to eating with their mouth open, breathing in an annoyingly nasal manner and listen to covers of perfectly good songs that have been done in that annoying breathless weak acapella style. The bastards. They always forget their wallet when you meet them for lunch and flash their photophores in your eyes when you didn't realise they were right next to you. They can grow big enough to make you want to do a cry. Check your toilets, just in case.
"What can put us off the cool and briney depths today Lyd?" I'm pretending you asked. Well, strangely, now you mention it, I found this guy. Mr Wolf fish isn't content with just one row of terror teeth, he has three rows of 'crushing teeth' behind the front top ones, two rows behind the bottom and just for fun, random throat teeth. Groo. He grows up to five feet long, or as I like to think, toooooo big. His special move is sighing heavily and muttering 'oh nothing' when asked what's up, before tearfully swishing from the room and slamming the door. He likes to ring you 'just needing a bit of a rant' and his typical Facebook post reads "wondering why I bother" or "feeling sad". Despite his terror face, he is often eaten, presumably to shut him up. Favourite album is Piano House Classics, favourite tv programme is Mrs Brown's Boys. Will attempt to guess your star sign.
Do you like to paddle in the splashy shore all barefoot and carefree? Paddle deeper, deeeeeeeper. Significantly deeper. Oh dear, don't look down but that there, no DON'T LOOK. Oh phew, it's not a zombie's face, it's just a....no, whatever it is I'm still screaming. Stargazer (his parents reinvented themselves as hippies after his dad had a breakdown) is not handsome. I'd like to say he has a lovely personality, but it would be a dirty lie. He hides under the sand showing as little of his terrorface as possible, until he can launch upwards and eat the face off you. The Stargazer fish has unusually sibilant speech, and is prone to drooling. He pops to the loo with his phone during pub quizzes, puts his feet up on seats on buses, and won't move his bags to let you sit down on trains. Over-uses the word 'eclectic'. Bit starey.
I hope I've not put you off God's beautiful sea-creatures,