Friday, July 21, 2006


How do fish sleep?

This is one of those things that I could google in no time flat, but I'd rather not.

Before Google entered our lives, we would have had to ask our friends, our parents, gone to the library, hunted down an encylopedia. We would have had to earn our answer.

Everything's too easy now. We can find out just about anything we want. (If we're online.) We're not forced to ponder, think, converse with others.

I mean, fish don't have eyelids, right? So how come the water's not always getting in their eyes? And when they sleep, do they still swim around? Are they ever, in their entire lives, still?

All questions I don't know the answers to.

I want to know, yes, but I'd rather look at things from the perspective of the fish in the fishtank, being fed by its master. It maintains the essential mystery of life. For the fish sees, dimly, through foggy glass, a creature that looks in on him. Sometimes the fish opens his mouth, and the creature will drop food on top of the water. The fish is grateful. The fish eats the food. But the fish, at some primal level, must wonder where that food came from. How does it get there? Why does the creature glimpsed through the glass drop it at random intervals? Where does the food-dropping-creature go when it leaves?

I want to be like that fish. Full of questions, denied the answers. Forced to swim, and feed, and wonder what it's all about.


roselle said...

actually (and i didn't google this!) fish do have eyelids - just not the kind we're used to thinking about...its an almost translucent film that shutters so fast we don't see it unless we're looking for it.
because the ocean, past about three metres from the surface, is pitch black, fish don't need the protection from the sun that opaque lids bring.

also, they do sleep. most fish will scatter from the schools with which they swim and find "shelter" under logs, rocks or reefs. their sleep, from what i remember of a documentary i watched, is similar to ours in that they keep still, but different in the fact that they don't lie down! also, certain fist whose breathing mechanisms depend on circulating water, have to keep moving but still sleep while doing so. i think an example of this is the shark family - but i may be mistaken.

on another note, isn't it interesting how THIS form of communication is now considered "conversing"???

Scott said...

Wow. You know a lot about fish. Thanks for the info.

And, yes, conversing has taken on a whole new meaning. I can't even begin to imagine where it's all going to go in the next ten, fifteen years...