May 8, 2009

Don't flush your pet down the toilet, kids.

ok, so you're moving away and you're not quite sure what to do with the aquarium fish.
"What do we do with Spartacus?"
"I don't know, flush him."
"Nah man, I'll let him go in the bay out back."

Kirk Douglas will CUT you.

So it turns out that Spartacus broke free of his four walled, algae riddled prison and into a bay...which leads to the ocean. And Spartacus doesn't happen to be from Miami, his natural home was in the Pacific. So if you have enough animals to break free into the open and get freaky with each other, then you have an exotic species outbreak. That's whats going down in South Florida, the Carribean and up the east coast with all sorts of species, from Burmese pythons to lionfish (Which is what Spartacus happens to be).

I get a million friggin emails a day about this guy. "Lionfish spotted in the Dominican Republic", "Diver observes lionfish on a reef in the Bahamas", "Lionfish found in my pants". People are discovering them everywhere. So it also turns out that lionfish are really good at eating stuff, and there's not too many predators out there that can eat them. So basically, they're taking advantage of the situation and multiplying...exponentially. They're wrecking whole reef ecosystems. Lionfish outcompete grouper and snapper by eating all of their prey. The favorite snack of the lionfish? Grouper and snapper young. So, everyone is panicking on how to get rid of them. The only bright idea was to go out and physically catch the lionfish. Teams of divers have been sent out to "collect" lionfish on reefs, stuffing them into bags as they swim along. Sounds like a drop in the bucket to me.

Not only do lionfish look like they had an unfortunate accident with a paper shredder, they're venomous. In fact, the most venomous fish on the ocean floor. word.

I'm in ur reef, killin ur dudes

Wikipedia entry on lionfish stings:

If a human is envenomed, that person will experience extreme pain, and possibly headaches, vomiting, and breathing difficulties
I'm pretty sure that if you get stung by a lionfish and don't die, you're going to want to.

The lionfish is one of thousands of different animals in the pet trade that end up back out in the wild where they aren't endemic to. They find a niche, they outcompete, and they spread like wildfire.

But the ultimate question about the lionfish is...Do they taste good?


  1. All your reef, reef, reef...all your reef are belong to lionfish.

  2. What happens if you flush Kirk Douglas?