If you're not knitting, the terrorists win

(My mostly on-topic ramblings about knitting. And life in general. My life in specific.)

My Photo
Location: Indiana, United States

I'm a middle aged mother of 2 grown children and wife to a man who doesn't seem to mind my almost heroin-like yarn addiction. I spend my time writing, knitting, and generally stressing out.

Monday, January 11, 2016

On Sharks, Gators, And Other Things I Don't Want To Swim With

About eight years ago, we visited New Orleans. It was only two years after Hurricane Katrina, so the area was still rebuilding and people were still talking about it. For example, when we took the swamp tour, we could see houses that had been carried miles away from their foundations. We could see trees that had been uprooted and wedged high up in the ironwork under bridges. It was profoundly disturbing.

Then, our guide enticed some gators over for us to see up close. He lured them over with marshmallows. And there were a lot of them. Lots of gators in the water, waiting (apparently) for their human friends to bring them good things to eat. But what was weird was that there were people, maybe 50 feet away, swimming in the water.

With gators in the water.

Our guide said that was not unusual. He said the gators don't bother the humans if the humans don't bother the gators. In my mind, I'm seeing a gator swim up to a human like, "Gimme a freakin' marshmallow or I'll bite your leg off!" Yeah. Yeah. I know they don't do that. How about "Gimme a marshmallow or I'll latch onto your foot and drag you underwater until you drown. Then I'll just stuff your body up under a tree root so it gets nice and soft for me to eat later."? Does that seem more realistic? I think that could happen. Especially because the guide told us they use marshmallows now because back when they used raw chicken, the gators got so agressive they climbed into the tour boats.

Our guide also mentioned that Katrina had washed a lot of gators up into areas they didn't belong. So, as they were cleaning up, they might find a pissed off gator somewhere they didn't expect.

Every few years, there is a gator found where you wouldn't expect it here in Indianapolis, too. Here. You wouldn't expect a gator here. And whenever they find one, there is always a news story with some expert telling us that yes, gators can survive Indiana winters, as long as their nostrils don't freeze. I find that terrifying.

But that got me thinking about sharks. We know some sharks are able to tolerate fresh water. Bull sharks have been found pretty far inland--as far as Illinois and Indiana in the US' Mississippi River, 2500 miles up the Amazon, Lake Nicaragua in Central America, and pretty far up the Ganges in India. Did you catch that part about Indiana? Yeah. In the Ohio River to the south and Lake Michigan to the North. Nope. Nope. Nope.

So bull sharks can live in fresh water. And they don't have to surface for air like crocs. So they don't have to worry about their nostrils freezing. Lake Michigan averages 42 degrees in the winter. They wouldn't freeze anyway. So, theoretically, sharks could be in Lake Michigan, in the heartland of the US. How do you like that? (That gives me an ill feeling, considering we lived in the Great Lakes Region for a while and I swam in Lake Michigan oh, about a million times.)

And that's not even counting the caiman and pirhanna that just get dumped into the rivers. (And who does that, by the way? Why would someone think it was okay to do that?)

Ok. So, let's go back to the Katrina scenario. Up here, we don't get hurricanes. But we do get some sustained rains sometimes. Rains that cause a lot of flooding. And all these rivers and lakes are connected. So, let's say there is something crazy in the Ohio River. Like a bull shark. The flooded waters just make it easier to go from one place to another.


Good thing I don't swim in natural water any more. Give me nice, clear, see-the-bottom pool water, full of chlorine to kill all the bacteria and germs.


Post a Comment

<< Home

Free Counter