a story lives forever
Sign in
Form submission failed!

Stay signed in

Recover your password?
Form submission failed!

Web of Stories Ltd would like to keep you informed about our products and services.

Please tick here if you would like us to keep you informed about our products and services.

I have read and accepted the Terms & Conditions.

Please note: Your email and any private information provided at registration will not be passed on to other individuals or organisations without your specific approval.

Video URL

You must be registered to use this feature. Sign in or register.


Show and Tell: Rabbitfish


Show and Tell: Rattails
Redmond O'Hanlon Writer
Comments (0) Please sign in or register to add comments

This guy, the smooth-head, we caught to the north of the Mountain Ridge. So this relict population must have been trapped there cause it's meant to only live in the south. So they were trapped when the Mountain Ridge came up. And this guy, the rough-head, well, doesn't that look prehistoric? Wonderful. And they're called rattails. You can't call them rattails on board, because if you mention rat or salmon or grass or minister or pig, you have to touch cold iron once. Same superstitions as in the Congo, really. And why? It tells you why you need it in the Congo, and why you need it in the North Atlantic when a hurricane is coming. If you wear green, something terrible will happen if you're wearing green. Even green Y-fronts. So if you drown, well, of course, he was wearing green Y-fronts. Now what does that tell you? It tells you that there's a god, there's a spirit, there is an entity that not only cares about you, what you say. You say rabbit, you're a goner. He cares about your dress sense, makes everything personal. It completely takes your mind off the fact that this great, indifferent, terrifying ocean couldn't give a damn about anybody, let alone their green Y-fronts.

The other interesting thing about these is that they're both adapted for life at great depth, perpetual darkness. Now they've gone one way, having very large eyes. Actually, that's almost life sized. Well, actually, no, a bit smaller.

Now that eye there, I cut it out, one of them. Let's see. Can you see the eyeball? It's vast. And it can see, that fish, in dim light, 220 times better than we can.

British author Redmond O’Hanlon writes about his journeys into some of the wildest places in the world. His travels have taken him into the jungles of the Congo and the Amazon, he has faced some of the toughest tribes alive today, and has sailed in the hurricane season on a trawler in the North Atlantic. In all of this, he explores the extremes of human existence with passion, wit and erudition.

Listeners: Christopher Sykes

Christopher Sykes is a London-based television producer and director who has made a number of documentary films for BBC TV, Channel 4 and PBS.

Tags: Wyville-Thomson Ridge, Northeast Atlantic

Duration: 2 minutes, 22 seconds

Date story recorded: July - September 2008

Date story went live: 01 November 2017