|Pithy Stuff & Slight
A Collection of
Text by Bryan Henry
|Mooncussers was the name given to men often
pirates or stranded mutineers who lured merchant sailing ships to
destruction ashore so that they could collect their cargo as salvage.
They would operate on dark nights when nothing could be seen, waving
lanterns that ships often mistook for the lights of other ships. They were
dubbed mooncussers because they cursed the moon and the light it brought,
robbing them of their livelihood.
|Three men who spent
five days adrift in the Atlantic in January 1980 had a shark to thank for their rescue. The men had
fallen asleep when the shark nudged their raft, awakening them in time to see a
passing freighter that they were able to flag down.
|The Latin name for broadbill swordfish,
Xiphias gladius, means sword gladiator.
|A sailfish can rip off
about 300 feet of monofilament line in three seconds, which is an
equivalent velocity of 68 miles per hour.
|Some blue marlins have been found
with juvenile swordfish in their stomachs.
|The average angler trolls 10 days or
more for each blue marlin caught.
|Whales are born tail first.
|The Great Barrier
Reef of Australia can be seen from the moon, but contrary to popular
belief, the Great Wall of China cannot.
|Coral reefs cover about one-fiftieth
of the ocean floor, but about one quarter of all marine species
make reefs their home.
|Corals produce a
natural sunscreen, which chemists are trying to extract for use by
|More than half of the
worlds population about 2.8 billion people
live within 60 miles of a coastline.
|An oyster can smell but cannot
|There are more than 400 species of oysters worldwide.
have a brain, and oyster blood is colorless.
|Some jellyfish split
themselves in two as a means of reproduction.
|60% of the Pacific Coast
shoreline and 35% of the Atlantic Coast shoreline are eroding at a rate of three feet a year.
|The pirate Blackbeard
reportedly mixed gunpowder with his rum, set fire to it, and
drank the flaming mixture.