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Researchers Test Whether Sharks Enjoy Christmas Songs 142

Scientists plan to test whether sharks enjoy listening to Christmas pop songs, after US research showed fish could recognize melody. Chris Brown, senior marine biologist at the Loch Lomond aquarium, said seasonal music would be played through walkthrough underwater tunnels where they can be heard by dozens of nurse sharks, black-tip reef sharks, and ray species. Experts will then monitor the sharks' reactions to different songs. We'll play everything from Kim Wilde and Mel Smith's Rocking Around the Christmas Tree and Merry Christmas Everybody by Slade to Wham's Last Christmas. We may find they prefer something softer like White Christmas by Bing Crosby," Brown said. Thank you for answering this question science.


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Researchers Test Whether Sharks Enjoy Christmas Songs

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  • by DeadPixels ( 1391907 ) on Thursday December 18, 2008 @02:30AM (#26156523)
    A "Great" White Christmas.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Famous holiday shark films.

      Grandma Got Ate By a Great White.

      Silent Bite.

      Rudolph the Red Nosed Reef Shark.

      Santa Claus VS the Great White.

      It's a Wonderful Lifeboat, The Story of the Indianapolis.

      A Christmas Gory.

    • you skated just under the line with that one. only a thin ray of daylight as the margin.
    • by conlaw ( 983784 )
      Whatever it's called, it should be top contender for a Golden Fleece Award. []
  • Watch out! (Score:4, Funny)

    by zobier ( 585066 ) <> on Thursday December 18, 2008 @02:32AM (#26156527)

    Don't let them get a hold of any lasers, that could be a bad combination.

  • by Umuri ( 897961 ) on Thursday December 18, 2008 @02:33AM (#26156533)

    as the sharks bludgeon themselves on the sides of the tunnel, being unable to plug their ears as scientists incessently torture them with 90s remakes that completely lack christmas spirit.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    But these great whites are so damn frightful.

  • by maz2331 ( 1104901 ) on Thursday December 18, 2008 @02:46AM (#26156605)

    The best guess I have is that they probably won't care about it at best, or they will just be somewhat annoyed by the noise.

    Now, if it were something like Two-Fin Shakur or even Mariah Carp we might get a scientifically valid result.

  • to test if ants can be trained to sort tiny screws in space.

  • Umm.... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Who the hell is funding this?

    • by Tablizer ( 95088 )

      Who the hell is funding this?

      An anonymous bald guy in a silver suit.

    • You know, that was my first reaction also, but it might not be as dumb as it sounds. The summery says that someone showed fish recognizing melody. That is interesting. Not as interesting as a super massive black hole in the center of our galaxy, but interesting none the less. Now, consider the kind of funding that would be needed to do this study. They are not going out catching sharks and building huge aquariums with specialized facilities to do this study. They are piping Christmas music through exi
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 18, 2008 @02:54AM (#26156651)

    who says our tax dollars aren't being put to good use?

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by adnonsense ( 826530 )
      Hey, that would be our tax *pounds*, thankyou very much!
    • There are usually a lot of a Americans waddling about Scotland but didn't realise they were all there just to fund this research.

  • Effect on humans (Score:3, Interesting)

    by clarkkent09 ( 1104833 ) * on Thursday December 18, 2008 @02:54AM (#26156655)
    More interesting question would be the effect of Christmas songs on humans. More specifically, whether the endless playing of them in every store starting from at least a month before Christmas causes people to buy more crap. You'd think it would cause the stores must have researched that kind of stuff, but then every person I know regards them as an annoyance. Personally, I would go out of my way to shop at a store that doesn't play them if I could only find one.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by jassa ( 1092003 )

      It almost drove me insane when I was doing produce nightfill work at a local supermarket. Even though the store was closed to customers overnight, the managers would leave it running around the clock.

      My MP3 player saved my sanity that year.

    • I would imagine that the sharks, like me, will go out of their way to avoid the Christmas music. There is one station where I live that switches to 24/7 Christmas music starting before Thanksgiving. I can't listen to it for a full 6 weeks.
      Of course, I will also avoid Christmas parties with anyone but friends and family, and yes we have the token mid 40's slightly frumpy woman at work who likes to put up all kinds of decorations and try to get us to play "Dirty Santa".
      Fortunately, our Christmas party was o
  • What (Score:1, Insightful)

    This has little to do with science.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by carlzum ( 832868 )
      Agreed. And what's the purpose of that image? I'd say it was the most useless image I've seen on a Slashdot article, but that honor goes to the artificial Christmas tree [] on an article about a guy who made a pyramid looking thing out of old hard drives.
    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Very wrong. Everyone who has been saying stuff such as "Waste of money" should just go back to reading their bibles.

      How come it isn't important to research if the same kind of things affect the moods of animals that affect our moods? How can a point be made that it isn't exactly the kind of knowledge that progresses our understanding of the world around us?

      In addition it has numerous practical uses. They range from calming animals in kennels, zoos, etc. to getting slightly more productive farms by just play

  • ...what happens if they pipe the 'Jaws' movie theme music - see if they all shit themselves and get out of the water real fast.

  • Yep... (Score:5, Funny)

    by thewaker ( 1249320 ) on Thursday December 18, 2008 @03:07AM (#26156727)
    I think we're gonna need a bigger grant...
  • Very evil. (Score:5, Funny)

    by BigDXLT ( 1218924 ) on Thursday December 18, 2008 @03:08AM (#26156731)
    Sharks with frickin' christmas tunes stuck in their heads...?
  • by wvmarle ( 1070040 ) on Thursday December 18, 2008 @03:34AM (#26156849)

    Half year or so the new idle was introduced - fine with me. Some stupid stories to waste time, nicely grouped together.

    Then a few months ago now and then idle stories started making the front page. Acceptable, easy to filter using preferences.

    But nowadays I see two, three of these idle type stories hit the front page every day! Now this stupid shark thing, masking as a science story. Appropriately tagged 'idle' already.

    Please editors: keep idle type stories in the idle section, not in other sections, so we can filter them out if we like. And only real science stories in the science section. It's what those sections are made for, right?

    • Is there a way to filter the RSS feed? The subdomain is always "rss". I'd like to be able to filter the subdomains "idle" and "books". And other things besides subdomains if possible.
    • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      It happened when 4chan was slashdotted, there was a brief connection (think merry and sauron through the palantir). I don't think the place has been the same since.

  • test whether sharks enjoy listening to Christmas pop songs

    No. They don't.

    They enjoy lasers as christmas presents though...

  • I reckon that they're trying for an Ig Nobel prize

  • by Atrox666 ( 957601 ) on Thursday December 18, 2008 @04:12AM (#26157055)
    If this isn't cruel animal testing I don't know what is.
  • by jejones ( 115979 ) on Thursday December 18, 2008 @04:18AM (#26157085) Journal

    Surely sharks will like "Santa Jaws" []. (mp3 here []).

  • IDLE IDLE IDLE (Score:1, Offtopic)

    by MrMista_B ( 891430 )


  • next test: (Score:3, Funny)

    by Jeek Elemental ( 976426 ) on Thursday December 18, 2008 @04:27AM (#26157123)

    do sharks enjoy researchers?

  • by xophos ( 517934 ) on Thursday December 18, 2008 @04:28AM (#26157129)

    The evil in the USA knows no bounds.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Canazza ( 1428553 )

      "The songs and other festive hits will be played to the sharks and rays at Loch Lomond Sea Life Centre in Balloch, Dunbartonshire"

      Loch Lomond is in Scotland ya muppet.

      • by 6Yankee ( 597075 )

        Exactly. The Americans are doing this over there to avoid some pesky inconvenient "shark rights" laws.


    • The evil in the USA knows no bounds.

      I'm not certain, but I really don't think that Balloch, Dunbartonshir is in the US.

  • Nonsense (Score:1, Offtopic)

    by bryan1945 ( 301828 )

    There is no reason that wifi over power lines should be federally banned as there is no proof that air guide signals impede the phase of electrical power signals, even 4 phase lines. It is known that wifi works on a QAM-8 orthaginal spacing while 4 phase always exhibits a rhomboid sine distribution. The twisted pair cross-current vs. serial overload buffer magnetisism is most overcome by employing a larger multi-linear, nor capacitance resistor in parallel with a Ombudsman-type ohm logger. It is true the

  • by pandrijeczko ( 588093 ) on Thursday December 18, 2008 @05:57AM (#26157609)

    ... welcome our new carol-loving, aquatic predatorial overlords.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I can safely say I hate Christmas music.

  • Is this funded by tax payer money? due to separation of church and state, your favoritism towards Christianity in your study is illegal.

  • I didn't RTFA, but can you really measure enjoyment? I highly doubt they enjoy much but tearing into flesh and the smell of blood.

  • Question: Who the hell funds these projects? And why?
    • Question: Who the hell funds these projects? And why?

      Some record label joining forces with evil and/or insane scientists for world domination? Sounds like the work of Dr. Evil, really.

  • Some people have way to much time on their hands!

  • What they are going to do to these poor sharks is torture, like what they do in Guantanamo Bay! Don't be surprised if the sharks fight back and the next story will be about some eaten scientists. Pray that sharks don't decide to take it out on all the humans and start inventing lasers!

  • "Coming up next, can bees think? A new study confirms: No, they cannot." []
  • It's crap like this that made me fall in love with ./

  • Seriously, I never thought it possible, but the universe has bent in such a way that the extreme insipid evil that are xmax carols inflicted on poor helpless sharks is funny. Really funny. Sad... but really funny!

    Maybe we could find the actual sharks who have attacked humans and force them to listen to xmax music, ala "Clockwork Orange" to teach them a lesson. Let them free so that they will tell other sharks about the horrors.

    Of course, then we will see sharks beaching themselves like dolphins just to get

  • They're testing Christmas Music as effective shark repellent. What shark in his right mind would willingly stick around to listen to We Wish You A Merry Christmas.

    On the other hand, they may find that Jingle Bells sounds exactly like an injured seal.
  • .... What happens if they get Rickrolled instead.

  • Let's see... a government-funded study, to determine whether a sea animal likes music created by HUMANS. Uh huh... right. You know what, screw all the bleeding-heart types. I think "boondoggle" is the word we're all searching for here.
  • Just don't give the sharks with lasers a listen to those xmass tunes, especially not frosty the cooked human tune... I'm melting... I'm melting...

  • Of course, when I think of important scientific research, I think of sharks and music.


    (pack of fucking idiots...wasting money for this shit)

  • I've kept quiet about the recent changes. I liked the AJAX a lot, and didn't really mind Idle. Not all of it is bad.

    But this really pisses me off samzenpus. Keep this bullshit in idle, this isn't science, this isn't interesting or important, and this isn't slashdot.

    Thank you.

  • Mr Brown said nurse sharks and other species of carpet shark which spend most of their time lying on the bed of the tanks, could be the best barometers for the impact of those pop tunes. Their reactions will tell the researchers whether the sharks are enjoying the music or whether it turns them off.

    Everyone knows sharks must swim or die and, when the alternative was Christmas pop songs, they've made their choice.

  • including yours. Or maybe they're answering basic questions about the workings of fish which, like all basic research, may or may not pay off in the future. But you can bet that the scientists don't care any more than you do about the human significance of the tunes involved, despite the implications of your trollish post.

    The other implication of posts like this is that the scientists are wasting money. Oh. I look at how, say, the DoD uses our money, and how the private sector (including, I daresay, *yo

  • It would be much easier to see their reaction, just see if they follow along-

    Fins to the left..< splash > Check.

    Fins to the right...< splash > Check.

  • Let me guess, certain songs will stimulate sharks. Does it mean they like the music? Or that the rhythm reminds them of the excited heartbeat of a baby seal? Maybe its the magnets in the speaker systems. Or the electricity in the wires. What about differing tastes of music between individual sharks? We don't actually assume that music preference is species wide for sharks, do we? Get ready for some serious bias in interpreting whatever results these experiments find.

    Remember, Bing Crosby is for sl
  • There must be a lawyer joke in here somewhere???

  • Looks like someone has his eye on an Ignobel this year...

  • There was a episode of Metalocyplse that portrayed the band Dethklok making metal music for fish. The song it self is "Go into the water", if you want to research it. It just seems so weird that someone would being doing something like this in real life.
  • That's animal cruelty. Stop it. It's bad enough people have to suffer through this, but at least people have iPods.

  • What if melody turns out to be the key to real communication with aquatic life? Let the Uplifts Begin!
  • A CD of whatever music the sharks like best could be released under a name like "Lullabies for Lawyers", or "Carols for Counselors".

You know, Callahan's is a peaceable bar, but if you ask that dog what his favorite formatter is, and he says "roff! roff!", well, I'll just have to...