John McCullagh January 25, 2005
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Talking of Brannon’s Ghost that was known for breaking ‘wine’, I read the other day of the results of a scientific study in Vancouver into the utilization of this bodily gas expulsion by shoals of fish for communication purposes.

 
‘It sounds like a high-pitched raspberry!’ Ben Wilson told a convention of aquatic scientists, ‘And is caused by bubbles coming out of a herring’s anus.  
 
For decades we’ve wondered how shoals of fish kept together at night and now we know,’ he concluded triumphantly.  
 
‘They emit a Fast and Repetitive Tick which enables them to communicate after dark.  This is useful in commercial as well as scientific research for now fishermen should be able to locate shoals of herring at night simply by tracking their FaRTs.’
 
Dennis Higgs of the University of Windsor in Ontario commented,
 
‘I’d not have thought it, but fish do very strange and diverse things’.
 
I was tempted to tell him of this friend of mine (well, acquaintance!) who, after six pints of Guinness, could render a full verse of ‘White Christmas’.  
 
But I didn’t wish to encourage him.
 
Well, either of them actually!!
 

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