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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  1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

    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!

    1. andreas koch
      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.)

      1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

        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.

        1. Francis Boyle Silver badge

          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.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            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. :-)

            1. Anonymous Dutch Coward
              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...

              1. Roo

                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. :)

        2. Kubla Cant Silver badge
          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".

          1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

            @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.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            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?

            1. Kubla Cant Silver badge

              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.

    2. Justin Stringfellow
      Headmaster

      Re: Sir

      > put a fucking microphone in the water

      That would be a hydrophone then.

      1. Mayhem

        Re: Sir

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

  2. Voland's right hand Silver badge

    Not just creepy

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

    1. andreas koch
      Paris Hilton

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

      The middie-fish or the MP?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        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. :-)

  3. smudge Silver badge
    Coat

    So teach them the words...

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

    1. hplasm Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: So teach them the words...

      The fish hum because they are ... Surströmming!

      1. Lester Haines (Written by Reg staff) Gold badge

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

        That neologism absolutely stinks.

    2. Captain DaFt

      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.

  4. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Unhappy

    But neither story answers the important question

    What does it taste like?

    They are right this is f**king irritating.

    1. Joefish

      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.

      1. bigwusser

        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......

      2. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge
        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.

        1. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge
          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.

  5. Timfy67
    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!

    1. Joefish

      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.

  6. This post has been deleted by its author

  7. i like crisps
    Coat

    THIS ALL SOUNDS A BIT FISHY TO ME...

    ...That is all...

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Kippers Smoked

    You see what I did there.

  9. Evil Graham

    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.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: No wonder they are desperate

      the fish in the photo is a female.

  10. Zot

    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

  11. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse Silver badge

    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.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    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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