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: The Arctic skate


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

Again, you can't call this by its name on a trawler. It's called a rabbitfish, because of this jaw. And again, huge eye. Now it's called the king of the herrings, because it moves inshore to spawn at about the same time as the herrings come in. But it lives at great depths, and although it's got a big eye, it's taken another route. Do you see these pits here? These fantastic electroreceptors and all along the median line. And that... it can pick up fish moving close to it and at a distance. It can judge distance with these electroreceptors, and whether there's prey there. Everything gives off a weak electric field. Indeed, in the early days of laying the cable across the Atlantic, poor half-educated, illiterate sharks, you find them stuck into it. They'd home in on this weak electric field, thinking, definitely something to eat. And it was the cable. So it's a whole... all I'm saying is that there are other senses that fish have that we don't. I can't eat that. It really tastes revolting. Ammonia. And again, if you were an inexperienced shark, which presumably often happens. You're just out of secondary school, and you haven't been to university, and you see this thing. It can only swim very, very slowly over the bottom. East crustaceans. But you see this? This marlinspike here? Massive spike, and really hard. And here, there's a poison gland. Terrific. It's a syringe, just waiting. And as you know, sharks almost always approach from the head end. And you get that into the roof of your mouth, if you're a young shark. And the pain, presumably, is spectacular. And you run home to Mummy, just crying all the way. And you never, ever bother one of these again.

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, 59 seconds

Date story recorded: July - September 2008

Date story went live: 01 November 2017