The Royal B.C. Museum in Victoria has put on display a fish with a large head, small brain and unflattering name: a bony-eared assfish.
The deep-sea creature, about 30 centimetres long, was caught by scientists 10 years ago in Queen Charlotte Sound, off the north end of Vancouver Island.
Formally named Acanthonus armatus, the species is known to inhabit Pacific Ocean waters, but this is the first one caught off the coast of North America, said Gavin Hanke, the museum’s curator of vertebrate zoology.
“It is an ugly fish. That’s why I like it,” Hanke said. “It’s got a big bulbous head and a tapering body and flabby skin. It almost looks like a glorified tadpole. It felt very gelatinous and soft when we picked it up.
“It has a very large mouth, and off the back of the gills there are some very large spines that point backwards,” he said.
Hanke is unsure how the fish got its “ridiculous” moniker.
“There are some funny names out there for species, but that one takes the cake.”
The province of British Columbia is known, and often envied, for a relaxed, laid back lifestyle that runs at a much slower pace than the rest of the country.
And recently, there is truth behind that perception, as time literally slows down on Vancouver Island this week — at least as far as the clocks are concerned.
“It’s always been known time moved at a slower pace on the west coast, but now Tofino can literally make this claim,” says Weather Network meteorologist Tyler Hamilton.
A major upgrade to the current system means individual areas are being switched off the main grid and over to local generators, according to BC Hydro. As a result, clocks plugged in are running up to fifteen minutes behind.
The industry refers to the process as ‘islanding.’ Though power is still being supplied, a very slight alteration means that the time-keeping devices are the only electrical item affected, slowing losing minutes over a 10-day period.
“Normally the frequency is 60 hertz, and so when an area is islanded, it operates at just under 60 hertz so that means the clocks run a bit slower,” Simi Heer, a spokeswoman for BC Hydro, told the Vancouver Sun.
Residents living in coastal communities such as Tofino and Ucluelet noticed that clocks were running a few minutes behind late last week, and they can expect the lapse in time to continue until all work is completed on September 24.
They noticed? Surprising! 😉
The delay only affects electric clocks that are plugged in, and will not alter the times on computers, watches or mobile devices.
No, really? People need to be told this? LOL! 🙂
For parts of Vancouver Island, the busy summer tourist season is starting to wind down, and many locals will likely welcome the return to a slower pace of life.
And if it isn’t slow enough, after some ‘B.C. bud’, it will be. 😉
From a recent edition of the print-only publication Coffee News: