4 More Human Jobs Outsourced to Animals
A few weeks ago, we talked about animals that seem to be going the extra mile to show humanity that they aren’t just dribbling little instinct-driven balls of stuff. Well, here’s some more.
There are times when fishing can be a pain in the ass. Rods and lines snap, the fish get away, or they just don’t bite. When you’re fishing for fun, you can just drink a beer and say that the fish are being dicks. When your income and/or food is dependent on catching fish, it can be a serious problem. A long time ago some Japanese fishermen thought up a way around this problem- make bird’s fish for them.
About 1300 years ago, Japanese fisherman began training cormorants to fish for them. The birds are caught in the wild, brought inland and trained to catch fish in rivers. Cormorants are used to salt water and ocean fish, so teaching them to hunt in rivers takes practice. It takes about two weeks for the cormorants to get used to fresh water and being around people and can take three years for them to be fully trained.
Fishermen take the cormorants out into the water, place a metal ring around their necks and attach it to a leash. The cormorants dive into the water, catch fish and bring them back to the boat, where they vomit them up. If that sounds gross, the fish don’t make it all the way to the birds’ stomach. The ring around the birds’ necks prevents them from swallowing larger fish but allows smaller fish to pass.
Modern advances in fishing technology has made cormorant fishing inefficient, so it has all but died out. It is still practiced on the Nagaragawa river, but as a tourist attraction more than a way to catch fish. It’s said that Charlie Chaplin thought it was pretty cool, and we have to agree. So if you’re ever in Japan looking for a spectacle and some vomited fish, you now have an option besides behind a late night sushi bar.
Ferrets are like an odd joke from god: they almost look like rats, but are just cute enough that people will want to hold and pet them instead of hitting them with a brick.
Ferrets are very friendly and playful animals making them great pets, even Paris Hilton has one. The best and most unique feature of a ferret is its flexibility. In fact, it's actually possible to bend a ferret in half with no ill effect. Meaning it is entirely possible to pretend to break your ferret’s spine to confuse and terrify onlookers, training your ferret to play dead and give the ferret version of the finger is entirely recommended. In fact it's this flexibility that makes them perfect for being cable layers.
Ferrets are naturally inquisitive and will instinctively burrow or explore holes, some companies have taken advantage of this and are using the little guys to help them repair cables.
The ferrets are fitted with tiny little jackets that are used to detect broken or damaged cables with a special chip, this actually saves the company money as they don't have to disrupt people’s lives with building work, and instead can simply send in wave after wave of ferrets. Not to mention the ferrets look so damn dapper.
Ferrets have actually been used by people for years, even being credited with helping save the millennium concert by attaching harnesses to them and luring them underground to lay television cables where human means simply can't reach. That means a ferret in a charming little harness is actually more useful than modern technology. Hell even royalty owe the mighty ferret, as they were instrumental in laying cables for the wedding of Princess Diana.
Bugs and insects are normally quite freaky, which is our way of saying pant-shittingly terrifying, but something about the kissing bug actually sounds kind of cute. Kissing isn't scary, hell we've heard it's actually pretty enjoyable, a bug that kisses sounds like something from a Disney film or something. However, as soon as you see this thing though you'll forget all that.
Science has lied to us again, because not only is that thing creepy as shit it doesn't kiss, it sucks blood, from your fucking lips! That's not fucking kissing, that’s terrifying, but apparently they have found a use for this creature as a syringe instead of a stain on the bottom of your shoe.
The bug releases a pain relieving enzyme when it bites, we can almost certainly guess this is to stop people punching themselves in the face as soon as they feel this fucking thing on their face. Scientists noticed though that they insect could suck the blood of a creature without it noticing, you know what creatures do notice though? Being stuck with a needle.
Using kissing bugs scientists have managed to take painless blood samples from rhinos, cheetahs and giraffes, creatures that would all need to be sedated beforehand. This reduces unnecessary stress for the animals and is also relatively painless for them. It also reduces the need for specialised equipment as the bugs can suck blood from creatures as small as rodents all the way up to elephants.
Although still in the testing stage the experiment is showing promising results, however we can't help but feel a little sad we'll never see a zoo worker attempting to take an elephants blood sample with a comically oversized needle, but we put our dreams away.
Spider are fucking terrifying, black widows even more so. A tarantula, despite being a walking nightmare is at the very least visible. Sure the last thing you get to see is yourself shitting your pants, but the second to last thing would be the creature that caused it. Black widows throw this entire thing out of the window by being so small they can easily hide anywhere, like say under your toilet seat.
When not trying to attack your butt, the black widow is a deadly and effective hunter which is probably why people are using them to protect crops.
There has been pressure on manufacturers in recent years to stop using pesticides as they're dangerous for the environment, but like it or not they're damn effective. However Tesco, a British company has come up with a perfectly sane solution, put spiders all over their vineyards. Ok so it's actually a very effective counter-measure for reducing pests and actually really good for the environment. We can kind of appreciate the ingenuity of that, hell it's not like people are finding them in their food is it?
Oh wait, people have found spiders in their food on multiple occasions. Usually when the spiders are alive and are fully capable of biting the shit out of someone, we're sorry but no one needs grapes that fucking badly. For fuck sake Tesco, we've already ruined going to the toilet for most people, now we're telling them that their food may contain a deadly spider, shit we're bad at entertaining people.
Now we really don't want to sound like we're insulting this company, we're sure they have lawyers and market researchers who are paid very well and totally thought this idea was great, but Tesco, if your measure for saving the environment is at risk of fucking killing people, you need to fire someone for that shit. Oh and if our American readers are currently laughing at our British ones, this happens over in the states too. Nowhere is safe!
- - Cormorant Fishermen : http://www.riverclydefishing.com/cormant1.jpg http://blindflaneur.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/double_breasted_cormorant.jpg
- - Ferrets: http://www.petprescription.co.uk/userfiles/Imageferret.jpg http://i.telegraph.co.uk/multimedia/archive/01607/ferret_1607795c.jpg http://www.ferretshop.com.au/image/products/Top_Hat.JPG
- - Kissing Bugs: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/cf/Pgeniculatus2.jpg http://wwwdelivery.superstock.com/WI/223/1472/PreviewComp/SuperStock_1472R-71246.jpg
- - Black Widows: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/cd/Black_Widow_11-06.jpg http://www.petsfoto.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/Black-Widow2.jpg