Last week Americans were assured that everything was okay, they could go back to bed… The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration had officially debunked the existence of mermaids (although some would argue Australia has exported at least one aquatic humanoid).
While my love for The Little Mermaid will never die, here in Queensland we’ve got plenty of wacky fish tales that are 100 per cent true.
The myth of mermaids is actually said to have come from sightings of dugongs many moons ago when the female-starved salty sea dogs mistook their tails and smooth forms for something more human-like. The Great Barrier Reef is home to a globally significant population of dugongs.
Who’s your daddy?
They’re beautiful, ancient and propel themselves along with a swish of their tail, but surprisingly it’s the male seahorse that gestates the eggs and gives birth to the young.
The rather intrusive Pearl Fish is lucky that it’s so slender – it swims up the backside of the sea cucumber and lives in its body cavity during the day.
Dad, is that you?
There’s plenty of gender bending going on in the Great Barrier Reef. If Nemo’s mother had really died in the wild, his dad would have gone through a sex change, as the leader of the school is always female.
Several species of freshwater turtles in Queensland are also known as ‘Bum Breathing Turtles’ as they can absorb air from water taken in through their behind.
Sex on the reef
The reef plays host to the world’s biggest orgy in late spring or early summer when the corals ‘broadcast spawn’ in synchronicity so the male and female gametes can meet and produce new coral.
It’s all true, we promise!