See life


A deep sea survey, part of a 10 year census of marine life, has discovered 5,600 new species.

I have always suspected that many strange and wonderful creatures lurk under our noses in places where we rarely choose to look.

Unfortunately deep sea surveying is expensive and difficult. It is not something that can be done very often during a time of global recession, so I propose that scientists and naturalists move their search for new discoveries nearer home.

Here are a few hidden places where there may well be undiscovered life forms. They are locations where mankind almost never looks. I’m no naturalist, but I have hazarded a guess or two about what sort of creatures may be found…

– The bottom of a well-used handbag: small mammals (marsupials?), flightless birds.

– Underneath a reliable modern motor car: axle spiders, salt tolerant plants.

– The small hip pocket in a pair of jeans: flatworms, crustaceans.

– Underneath the ‘stages of roasting’ coffee bean displays in Starbucks: hard shelled reptiles (to go).

– The slot loading DVD drive cavity of a MacBook: bats.

– At the back of office filing cabinets (behind the files); dragons, cacti.

– In the boot of black cabs: snakes and serpents.

– Inside the vent of hot air hand dryers: bald eagle chicks.

– The middle of motorway roundabouts: unicorns.

– Under the seat in front of you: miniature badgers or wombats.

– Inside your MP3/iPod headphones: small shiny black wax-eating insects which are deaf.

Before I assemble my team of intrepid natural historians, is there anywhere else that we should look?

7 Responses to “See life”

  1. 1 Andy, Aviva, Perth

    According to QI last night – your garden, or anywhere really. If you study one place hard and long enough you’re almost certain to find some new species.

  2. 2 Andrew

    Arion distinctus – Houses of parliament
    Lintus Lintus – in Belly Buttons

  3. 3 Camilla

    The backs of paintings hanging on the walls of your house: small mammals dating from at least 50m years BC.
    Floor of a teenager’s bedroom: almost everything, nearly as rich an environment as a New Guinea rain forest.
    Bilges of a yacht: bilge gods who take and eat anything they can get (and these must be real creatures because the stuff certainly disappears).

  4. 4 Ben

    Serpents and snakes in black cabs: you anly need to look just behind th steering wheel.

  5. 5 Paul

    Other environs might include
    1) The back of the airing cupboard behind the hot water tank – various species of tea-towel munching arthropods
    2) Corners of the loft and behind bargeboards – the as yetunclassified fauna responsible for removing any item immediatly it has been put down and your back turned
    3) The post hole of domestic rotary clothes driers – blue polypropalene rope eating amphibians (Sorry Alex, you see you were blameless all along)

  6. 6 Graham

    And not to forget the lesser spotted sock easting crustacean that lives somewhere in the washing basket.

  7. 7 Graham P

    Sorry to be picky Alex, but motorways don’t have roundabouts.

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