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back to article SEX CRAZED FISH keeping hapless Southamptonites awake

Experts have suggested that a night-time humming keeping residents along Hampshire's Southampton Water from their kip may be the result of randy fish. Bleary-eyed people living close to the estuary have complained of hours of persistent throbbing, kicking off at 10pm, the Telegraph reports. Linda Zammit of Woolston said: "I …

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Sir

" the humming could be the result of fish seeking a mate"

I suppose it could. It could also be a mosquito swarm nesting in the local belfry, or just a lot of people humming all at once because they have insomnia and are trying to drown out the sound of all those other people humming to drown out the sound - so why don't you go down to the sea and put a fucking microphone in the water and find out for sure!

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Holmes

@ Sir Runcible Spoon - Re: Sir

Dear Sir,

I propose to introduce these fish to the Thames, at the level of the Houses of Parliament.

It seems to me that the noise of these fish does not make any less sense than the noise generated by the occupants of said Houses of Parliament, albeit at a much lower cost. Thus considerable savings could be achieved.

Your sincerely

Andreas Koch (not even Esquire, sadly.)

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Re: @ Sir Runcible Spoon - Sir

You are quite entitled to use the term Esquire my good man..

" noun

1 (Esquire) British a polite title appended to a man’s name when no other title is used, typically in the address of a letter or other documents"

I seem to recall it's recent conventional useage (which has sadly lapsed) was applied to young men before they became a 'Mr.' i.e. when they got married - a little bit like Miss and Mrs.

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Re: @ Sir Runcible Spoon - Sir

Just don't try thatin the US. There, by convention, it signifies an 'attorney'. There has been at least one prosecution, albeit malicious, of a person who dared used the title in a state where they were not registered to practise law.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: @ Sir Runcible Spoon - Sir

Sorry @Francis Boyle,

*WE* invented the damn language... *WE* decide what's what. Just because *YOU* lot threw a strop over some tea a few centuries ago does not mean *YOU* get to decide who gets to use the title Esquire. ;-)

Just kidding, natch. :-)

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Headmaster

Re: Sir

> put a fucking microphone in the water

That would be a hydrophone then.

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Re: Sir

Well, it could always be a normal microphone with a rubber-over and an elastic band, especially if tracking Yangtze river dolphins

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Coat

Re: @ Sir Runcible Spoon - Sir

Squinting at esquire, my etymologic senses whisper to me it's a Norman French derivation. Don't the French get a say? Or possibly the descendants of the Normans up North?

But I've been known to be wrong before...

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Roo
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Re: @ Sir Runcible Spoon - Sir

"Squinting at esquire, my etymologic senses whisper to me it's a Norman French derivation. Don't the French get a say? Or possibly the descendants of the Normans up North?"

As someone with Norman ancestry I don't think the French should get a say, besides most of these titles have been rendered meaningless by democracy in any case. Going a bit further, it is disrespectful to the memory of people like William Marshal for a Sax-Coburg to be handing out titles to celebs and civil servants. That said, for the Royals it's part of the tradition of pageantry that they have grown up as opposed to part of their heritage, so I wouldn't expect them to view those titles as anything other than an ornament, I'm fairly sure they don't mean any disrespect by it too.

A couple of years ago aunts recounted that there was a frosty silence at a family gathering (~60 years ago) after one of her great aunts observed that one particular branch of the family gathered there had fought with the "opposition" (French) at Crecy.

I have come to believe that short memories are a necessity in our family. :)

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Headmaster

Re: @ Sir Runcible Spoon - Sir

I seem to recall it's recent conventional useage (which has sadly lapsed) was applied to young men before they became a 'Mr.' i.e. when they got married - a little bit like Miss and Mrs

I thought unmarried young men were styled "Master", until the usage lapsed in the face of objections from young men called Bates.

Also, I believe it should be "its recent conventional usage".

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@Kubla

You did note the time I posted that comment didn't you? Still, I always appreciate a correction :)

You're right about the usage of Master, I'd forgotten that. Mind you, I think we're both right.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: @ Sir Runcible Spoon - Sir

Isn't Master to be used for kids, so when you're a boy you'd be Master, then Esquire when you came of age, then Mr when you were married?

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Re: @ Sir Runcible Spoon - Sir

Scraping the bottom of the esquire barrel...

"Esquire" seems to belong to a different category from "Mr", "Mrs" etc, because of its usage. Nowadays it's mostly confined to addresses. My impression is that it became common in the 18th century, but that it was never used in the same way as "Mr". One can imagine "How very ill Miss Eliza Bennet looks this morning, Mr. Darcy", but substitute "Fitzwilliam Darcy esquire", and it sounds absurd.

I have an idea that until the late 19th century "Esquire" denoted some kind of gentry status, possibly a man who was armigerous but not titled.

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Not just creepy

Has a very nasty sting too (though not sure about these exact species).

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Paris Hilton

@ Voland's right hand - Re: Not just creepy

The middie-fish or the MP?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: @ Voland's right hand - Not just creepy

MPs can have a nasty sting. It's the teeth and spine that are lacking. :-)

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Coat

So teach them the words...

... and then they won't have to hum.

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Coat

Re: So teach them the words...

The fish hum because they are ... Surströmming!

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(Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

Re: Re: So teach them the words...

That neologism absolutely stinks.

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Re: So teach them the words...

"... and then they won't have to hum."

I fail to see how an ichthyic chorus of "Hey! Baby, baby. Hey! Baby baby! Phwoaaarr!" droning on all night would be any improvement.

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Unhappy

But neither story answers the important question

What does it taste like?

They are right this is f**king irritating.

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Re: But neither story answers the important question

Having suffered this in a top-floor flat overlooking Riverside Park in Southampton, it sounds plausible. The hum can pulse, like several sources a few Hz apart interfering. You also only tend to hear it at certain key resonant areas inside a closed room, suggesting the original source is at a low volume but very steady. Also why it's so hard to trace.

But yes, someone go and stick a microphone in the water. Better yet, a loudspeaker that says "Fuck off fishies!" in low-frequency fish language. As for BBC waterproofing, I'm sure you'll find no shortage of johnnies down on the wharf but you might need to supply your own elastic band.

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Re: But neither story answers the important question

Unfortunately, this noise is not restricted to Southampton.

I live in Weston-super-mare and I have been hearing this type of low hum/pulsating for weeks now, so unless these fish are dashing around the Cornish headland and massing just off the sea front to serenade me to sleep, i believe we may be have a wider problem.

It could also be that these type of fish are grouping in large numbers, placed strategically around the British coastline, ready to give a national rendition of 'Jerusalem' when England win the 2014 world cup!

But maybe not......

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Mushroom

@Joefish

"Better yet, a loudspeaker that says "Fuck off fishies!" in low-frequency fish language."

I was thinking more along the lines of ordnance myself.

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Mushroom

Re: @Joefish

Depth-charges anyone?

I am wondering if the humble gurnard might be to blame. Their Dutch nickname "knorhaan" (grunting cock (seriously!)) refers to their habit of making quite loud noises under water.

Quite tasty, and excellent in bouillabaisse.

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Joke

"It doesn't keep me awake..."

"...but it stops me getting back to sleep"

Not being able to sleep because of said thing meets my definition of said thing keeping me awake!

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Re: "It doesn't keep me awake..."

On holiday recently I heard a much louder disturbance at night, though after I discovered the source whilst perambulating home the following evening I found it quite restful and easy to sleep. It's not knowing that is the real driver of stress.

At the far eastern end of Sidari on the north coast of Corfu is a small river, far cleaner than the one that dumps green stuff onto the western beach, with the pleasant Monika Hotel Apartments beside it. In late spring and early summer, after dark, the frogs kick in with a rattling chorus that goes on until dawn. One can drift off with the happily confused image of Rupert stalking Paul McCartney through the rushes with a chainsaw.

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Coat

THIS ALL SOUNDS A BIT FISHY TO ME...

...That is all...

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Anonymous Coward

Kippers Smoked

You see what I did there.

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No wonder they are desperate

That is one really ugly piscine visage. Looking like that, it's not surprising they have to put some effort in to find a mate.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: No wonder they are desperate

the fish in the photo is a female.

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Zot
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An orchestra of toadfish?

" Finally, following the humming sound with hydrophones, they zeroed in on the singing fish, dropped a net and brought up mud cakes containing 10 specimens of toadfish, which were whisked off to the aquarium for observation. And yes, they sang, “and out of the water they go ‘whoof – whoof,’” said Merrill. "

Since the 80s this yuppified harbour has had it bad! :- http://www.marinscope.com/sausalito_marin_scope/opinion/article_e009796f-01cc-5d1c-a60a-4e9bd75afe22.html

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Can we get Steve Zizou to investigate...

I'm sure he had hydrophones attached to the heads of trained Dolphins - so no getting wet required.

He also had a naked intern with nice tits if I remember correctly - which would be much prettier to look at than (any part of) Southampton while awaiting the results.

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Anonymous Coward

Perhaps the source is a "secret nuclear sub"

Hence the reluctance to pop a microphone in there (black helicopters)

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