Of Turbans and Alien Writing

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It’s high time that I got back to being a little silly. I miss it. I’ve been far to serious lately. It’s easy to point out to people who are having problems that they might feel better if they would lighten up a little. It’s a bit harder to take the advice if the roles are reversed. Anyway, I know that I need to get some whimsy back into my thinking. Maybe it will leave less room for the too serious stuff to rumbling around in my skull.

Although another Saturday has now passed, these shots are from Planet Rock a week ago yesterday. I haven’t gotten around to looking at the shots at Magic Passage from yesterday’s dive.

The water was very greenish from the layer of brackish water washed out into Astrolabe Bay from the Golgol River. In this “dark reef” style image, I left the green uncorrected, so that you can see what it looked like to me:

It’s a colour that most people don’t expect to see in a marine underwater image. The greenish glow of the light also subdues many of the warmer colours and gives the reef a sickly look.

I’m always raving about spirals in the undersea environment and in nature in general. It seems to be a very useful growth pattern:

Here you can see the very prominent spiral shape in this rapidly growing hard coral. This is an exceptionally nice crop. The image was taken from about five metres shooting straight down. The area you see is about six metres wide.

I enjoy shooting gimpy starfish. It is amazing how many starfish are missing legs, or even more:

Most species of starfish can easily regenerate a severed leg. In fact, if the severed leg is spat out by a fish, as is often the case, the leg will grow new legs and create an entrie new starfish from only the leg. You can see an example of that here.

Getting back to spirals for a moment, Here is an empty house. The critter who lived in it has expired:

I think that it is very likely that a hermit crab which has outgrown it’s apartment will move into this more spacious accommodation soon.

We see the spiral again in this Cat’s Eye Turban Shell (Turbo petholatus). This poor creature was the victim of break and enter. There are a variety of marine creatures which possess the capability of breaking open tough shells such as this to get to the tasty meal inside:

If you try to break a Turban Shell, you can appreciate the power it takes to do so. They are very hard. It would take a few hammer blows to do this kind of damage.

The Turbans are marine snails, so it’s not surprising that the shells look exactly like land snails. However, the marine environment requires heavy-duty protection against predators. To block the most obvious route of entry, the snail produces a door or operculum,  to protect itself.

Opercula are very common in marine snails. The are less often found in species of freshwater snails and only a few land snails have them. The shot above shows some Cat’s Eye Turban Shells and the associated opercula. You can see where the name “Cat’s Eye” came from. The spiral shape is present not only in the shell, but also the opercula. As you can see, there are many different colours and surface textures. These are from my collection.

Okay, I suppose that you are wondering when the silliness would make its entrance into the scene. Well, I am forever on the look-out for aliens. I confess that I have never seen one, but that means nothing. Perhaps they do not wish to be seen.  However, to the astute and careful, dare I say enthusiastic observer, evidence of them is everywhere. One simply has to have the proper perspective.You may care to scoff. Do so if you wish. Nevertheless, I’ll use the favourite argument of UFOlogists, quacks, conspiracy theorists, Discovery Channel pseudo-science and all others who wish to convince others of their ideas despite the lack of genuine evidence. No reputable authority has yet proven that this is not alien writing.

Therefore, it must be true, eh?

By the way, it says, “Live long and prosper.” In Vulcan it would be, “Dif-tor heh smusma”.

UPDATE: Reader Pvaldes points out that if you tilt your head very hard to the left so it is nearly horizontal and examine the Alien Writing image you will be able to read the message. It clearly says, “Hi” (or maybe “Hy”). You can read his remarks in the comments section.

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23 Responses to “Of Turbans and Alien Writing”

  1. Ahna Says:

    Oh how I like the shells. I love the necklas you made. Everyone wants to know where I got it. Anyway nice shots. Keep up the stories. I love them. Nice form in your game in the last post. LOL. I hate Putt Putt golf and that reminded me of it. Im not patient.

  2. Ali Says:

    What a find Jan! Treasure indeed, an alien Rosetta Stone in fact.
    I do hope that the Vulcan origins and translations are open to debate for I find strong paralells with symbols associated with the planet Zooberon.
    The Zooberonic translantion would be “Schmirnoff” or in English….
    “good health and happiness”
    Here’s to the revelations of ridiculous my friend!

  3. Ali Says:

    Love your opercula colection by the way!

  4. MadDog Says:

    Ali, I was going to make necklaces from them, but I’ll probably never get around to it.

  5. MadDog Says:

    You would love my collection of shells. I have thousands! I’ll keep posting, no worries about that. It connects me. I haven’t though about Putt Putt Golf in years. Do they still have it?

  6. MadDog Says:

    Ali, I’m pleased that you enjoyed my latest foray into xenobiology. I confess that I don’t actually speak Vulcan. I filched the translation from the web on some Trekkie site.

    As for Zooberon, I think that you are making that up. I search for anything significant and found nothing that made any sense. Maybe that’s the point.

    SO, with that I bid you goodnight, sleep tight and Schmirnoff, baby!

  7. Ali Says:

    ME….make up Zooberon? Jan, I cannot beleive you think me capable of such a thing? Zooberon is , of course 300 lght years east of Zapponia in the Gallaxy Triffoidium…mmmmmmmmmm!!!

  8. L. Witham Says:

    I think the writing says “Kilroy was here.”
    I have my own cat’s eyes collection too.

  9. MadDog Says:

    Ali, Zapponia? Triffoidium? Did you ever hear of Poterzeebee or Ossaffoga? How about Fern Fern Fern Xuumbwat?

    I thought so.

    Come back . . .

  10. MadDog Says:

    Lori, you should get together with Ali.

  11. Fortescue Bullrout Says:

    Would like to see some shots of shells from your collection.

  12. Ali Says:

    Is that close to Xuumb-where……..over the rainbow?
    Is Ossoffoga anywhere near Ossobucco? Never heard of Poterzeebee….and excuse me, but who’s making things up now?
    On second look at those hyroglyphs, Lori could be right about Kilroy?


  13. MadDog Says:

    Mmmmm . . . interesting idea, Fortescue. I’ll put that in the bag and shake it for a while.

  14. MadDog Says:

    Ali, I confess that I do not know where Fern Fern Fern Xuumbwat is. I overheard it mentioned in light conversation. Your suggestion that it might be close to Xuumbwhere is highly amusing, though the spelling variation is a stretch. However, I may have misspelled Xuumbwat; I only heard the word, as I have mentioned. It may well be Xuumbwhat, as the difference is only a minor exhalation. It that case, I would expect to find Xuumbwhen, Xuumbwho, Xuumbwhy and possibly Xuumbhow in the same neighbourhood. One might expect the province to be Xuumbwhich.

    Poterzeebee and Ossaffoga are probably not places, though the universe is very big and one can’t discount the possibility. Both words have their origins in the mouldy archives of Mad Magazine, dating back to the early ’60s. Poterzeebee (not sure about the spelling, it’s been a long time ago) was supposed to be an ingredient discovered on a bottle of Aspirin manufactured in Poland. Honestly, I don’t remember the etymology of Ossaffoga, but I’m sure that it is similarly obscure.

    So, there you are. I’m faking it again.

    You really nailed me with Ossobucco. I thought you were making it up. Well, actually, you were. Tried to trick me with a food, eh? I had to look it up.

  15. Ali Says:

    Ossoffogo? Could be something to do with a puffer fish…..
    A dangerous, yet tasty, fishy, Japanese version of Ossobucco? Or would that be Ossofugu?

    words words words….love ’em!

  16. MadDog Says:

    Ali, I think that Ossofugu might refer to a petrified puffer fish, eh? Or, would that be Ossifugu? Maybe Ossofugu is what one says when the face starts to numb and the fingers are going to sleep after eating ill-prepared Fugu.

    Oh, so Fugu! I’m going to take a nap now.

  17. Ali Says:

    Ossifugu could also be a Vulcan sneeze?
    So I will say gazoontite to that and I’m
    over and out!

  18. MadDog Says:

    And gazoonnight to you, Ali. I’m going to try to get some sleep.

  19. pvaldes Says:

    oh my god!, If you turn the photo (or the head) -90º you can read the secret alien message


    ( They are aliens!, you can’t expect a perfect orthography )

  20. Ali Says:

    WOW that is fantastic…… how on earth-ling did we preciously miss it?

  21. Ali Says:

    i meant previously, not preciously…(although it is quite precious!)

  22. MadDog Says:

    Hey, Pvaldes, you are right. I did not notice it. If you tilt your head to the right it clearly says, “Hi”. I guess that they are not good spellers.

  23. MadDog Says:

    Ali, I agree. It’s so obvious once you see it.

    I thought you were being clever when you used the word preciously.