Cool story, bro


Every few years, stories of Organism 46-B rise up again, and of course, I’m starting to see it again in 2020. Organism 46-B is a mythical creature of extreme inaccessibility — it lives in Lake Vostok, the freshwater lake buried 2 miles beneath Antarctic ice. You’d think that would hamper the spreading of the tall tale, since you’re not going to have drunk tourists stumbling around the edge of the lake snapping blurry photos of phenomena they call the Lake Vostok Monster, but it also prevents skeptics from dissecting the claims. They think. Except this story has Russian scientists building an elevator and sending scuba divers down to visit. Not true and not possible! A couple of holes have been bored down to the surface, but no one is going for a swim.

The scary story claims that the Russians found a giant monster down there.

Organism 46b is a species of giant octopus, but with 14 arms rather than eight.

It also spits poison and can mimic human form. I think I see a bad B movie developing here.

I’m disappointed. It’s so implausible on every level, yet I think 2020 really needs a tentacled man-eating sea monster.


By the way, one truly cool story: the existence of deep Antarctic lakes was predicted by the great Peter Kropotkin.

Comments

  1. raven says

    It also spits poison and can mimic human form. I think I see a bad B movie developing here.

    All I see is Republicans.
    We now have an explanation for Donald Trump, Ann Coulter, Amy Barrett, Mitch McConnell, Michele Bachmann, and a few hundred thousand other GOPers.

  2. Sean Boyd says

    Looks at word ‘octopus.’

    Looks at phrase ‘but with 14 arms.’

    Looks back at word ‘octopus.’

    Looks again at phrase ‘but with 14 arms.’

    Shakes head, continues drinking morning coffee.

  3. robro says

    …I think 2020 really needs a tentacled man-eating sea monster.

    We’ve got that already, too. Actually think we have a few hundred of them around the world, frequently seen on private Learjets and yacht.

  4. garnetstar says

    Um, scuba divers? The depth limit for, at least, sport scuba diving with air tanks is 160 feet. Deeper than that, you cannot expand your lungs with air against high external pressure of the water. So, I’m really not feeling the “scuba divers” part of it, at, what, two miles is like 10,000 feet?

    Really advanced organizations have come up with a technique where they fill the divers’ lungs with an oxygen-containing fluid, and the lungs aborb oxygen from the liquid. Not for the faint of heart! (Every see the movie “The Abyss”?) Also, not at that depth, not possible. The pressure alone would just squash all your organs flat, let alone the problem of breathing.

  5. F.O. says

    the existence of deep Antarctic lakes was predicted by the great Peter Kropotkin.

    I want to know more about this one, but can’t find much about it. Do you have a source?

  6. George says

    “…Yet I think 2020 really needs a tentacled man-eating sea monster.”

    Humphf… We NEVER get anything good.

  7. gddiver says

    @11 “ The depth limit for, at least, sport scuba diving with air tanks is 160 feet. Deeper than that, you cannot expand your lungs with air against high external pressure of the water”

    Well for once I am knowledgeable about something on here. Gas is delivered from scuba tanks at ambient pressure so the limits are not the ability to inhale. Tanks are filled typically to around 3000 psi or 195 atmospheres. This means that a typical full scuba tank can deliver gas at depths approaching 6400 ft. Other problems such as oxygen toxicity, nitrogen narcosis, high pressure nervous syndrome, long decompression time and just the shear volume of gas needed on an open circuit system are the real limiting factor to depth on scuba.

    The current depth record on open circuit is over 1000 feet, working saturation dives have been made to depths exceeding 1700 feet. Around my neck of the woods technical divers routinely exceed 300 feet and I personally have been to well over 200 feet on scuba and was working on certification to depths beyond 300 feet when my training was interrupted.

    Also, just FYI, the limit for sport diving is 130 feet, a somewhat arbitrary limit, based on no decompression limits, the narcotic effect of air and the fact that air consumption increases with depth.

    None of this has any bearing on diving in a lake under two miles of ice. Dives have been made to 36,000 feet (nearly 7 mile) but that was in a submersible. Good luck getting one of those in an elevator.

  8. wzrd1 says

    @gddiver #15, I recall the Byford Dolphin accident, 9 atmosphere explosive decompression, killing four divers and two workers, when the diving bell was prematurely disconnected. Two steps were missed, resulting in a horrific tragedy.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Byford_Dolphin#Diving_bell_accident

    As for a movie, I think that story’s already been told in the cult classic, “The mother-in-law who wouldn’t leave”.
    And as mentioned above, “The Thing”, “Ice Station Zebra” and a slew of other similar crap over the decades.
    The laugh is, no explanation on what the mythical critter would normally eat, what’s the habitat’s energy source, etc. I’d rent an idea that microscopic life is present, but multicellular life requires significant amounts of energy in order to survive, let alone thrive. Although, as I recall, the Russians did manage to enrich the environment with some kerosene…

  9. says

    John Wyndham’s story, The Kraken Wakes is much better and a bit more believable. It would make a much better movie but sadly all attempts to make one seem to have failed.

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