Nature is creepy
June 9, 2005 12:27 PM   Subscribe

A cuddly new species! Severe neuro-trauma wound is plainly visible, as is the foreign tentacle, which was found to be grasping the mid-brain area.
posted by kenko (68 comments total)

 
Why does that go to Cold Fear?
posted by jsavimbi at 12:31 PM on June 9, 2005


On a hell-bound ship, everyone is dead weight.
posted by Rawhide at 12:34 PM on June 9, 2005


Holy fucking shit.
posted by sharksandwich at 12:36 PM on June 9, 2005


If only the spoofer had spelled "bulletin" correctly, I could have suspended my disbelief for another 15 seconds at least.
posted by digaman at 12:36 PM on June 9, 2005


game ad, but cool though.
posted by pg at 12:36 PM on June 9, 2005


Yeah, I was starting to get horrified until I saw this. And then, like digaman, noticed the spelling of "bulletin."
posted by Specklet at 12:42 PM on June 9, 2005


If I had known it was an ad, I wouldn't have posted it.

I have been well and truly rooked.
posted by kenko at 12:42 PM on June 9, 2005


let the viral marketing begin.
posted by jcterminal at 12:43 PM on June 9, 2005


Being incredibly lazy, when I couldn't figure out what the hell was going on in the first link in 20 seconds of looking at it, I just backed up on the URL to the cfgoa.org and got the redirect to the COLD FEAR page.

I love how other people found out what was up by the misspellings, that would never be me.
posted by Rawhide at 12:50 PM on June 9, 2005


I, for one--- what? nevermind.
posted by keswick at 12:51 PM on June 9, 2005


I like that this was posted. Think of it as an art piece, not marketing.

Time to call Art Bell! ;)
posted by Kickstart70 at 12:52 PM on June 9, 2005


Had me going. I was reading that thing, thinking "Gee, this is pretty dry stuff..." until I got to the image of the body in the sand on the beach. I started emailing people, dropping the link in chat rooms.

Sheesh.
posted by thanotopsis at 12:55 PM on June 9, 2005


"The picture was taken by an electrical inspector, who noticed the exocell crawling out of the ocean. The exocell was moving out of the water rather deliberately, giving him an opportunity to take a fairly steady picture before the exocell disappeared into the pipe. After sending the picture out for independent digital image processing, there appears to be a human hand inside the drainpipe."
Man, this would have been SO FUCKING COOL if it had been real. Oh well.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 12:58 PM on June 9, 2005


WB JC!!

Kenko. I came thisclose to posting that not too long ago. Pretty convincing stuff.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 12:58 PM on June 9, 2005


JESUS. Until the bit with the brain I was believing.
posted by fire&wings at 12:59 PM on June 9, 2005


What impressed me the most was the convincingly spartan, "designed by some government lackey" look of the site. Good job, guys!
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 1:02 PM on June 9, 2005


I say we take off, nuke Alaska from orbit. It's the only way to make sure.

What?
posted by jokeefe at 1:03 PM on June 9, 2005


one thing metafilter has taught me is to always look at the source of the information. This one was convincing, but i have to say my spidey-sense was tingling like heck.
posted by TechnoLustLuddite at 1:18 PM on June 9, 2005


Man, this would have been SO FUCKING COOL if it had been real. Oh well.

I know!!! I'm sure this says something about my love for humankind, but I'm kind of sad that it's not real.
posted by jennyb at 1:23 PM on June 9, 2005


wmmna
posted by prostyle at 1:27 PM on June 9, 2005


If I had known it was an ad, I wouldn't have posted it.

Someone needs to learn to do google search with the topic and the word hoax... works wonders! :)
posted by HuronBob at 1:28 PM on June 9, 2005


same here, jennyb. i was sooo pissed when it redirected to COLD FEAR
posted by puke & cry at 1:28 PM on June 9, 2005 [1 favorite]


Time to call Art Bell

That's funny ...
posted by Relay at 1:32 PM on June 9, 2005


Yeah, the MR scan was what gave it away...

Also, the last picture could totally be a Half Life headcrab-from-sewer-pipe screenshot.
posted by uncle harold at 1:34 PM on June 9, 2005


What impressed me the most was the convincingly spartan, "designed by some government lackey" look of the site. Good job, guys!

Exactly...it's got that USGS or NASA three-clicks-deep look down.
posted by gimonca at 1:35 PM on June 9, 2005


Also, the last picture could totally be a Half Life headcrab-from-sewer-pipe screenshot.

exactly what i thought. also, this
posted by puke & cry at 1:45 PM on June 9, 2005 [1 favorite]


or i guess this
posted by puke & cry at 1:50 PM on June 9, 2005 [1 favorite]


Who goes to all that trouble and spells "bulletin" incorrectly?
posted by Optimus Chyme at 2:05 PM on June 9, 2005


After you kill the zombies, don't forget to stomp the head!
posted by Vulpyne at 2:30 PM on June 9, 2005


Exocell offers products and assays that encompass clinical diagnostics, clinical investigation, laboratory research, reagents and reference standards.

You just want to eat my brain!
posted by mrgrimm at 2:41 PM on June 9, 2005


I went directly to the link without reading this thread.

Now that I read it it's really funny that I'm not the only one who also thought "Wow. This is very cool...wait a minute...why is 'bulletin' misspelled? What kind of site is this..."
posted by vacapinta at 2:45 PM on June 9, 2005


Funny how the fact that it's a dirt-plain, old-school html page lends an air of authenticity to it, too.
posted by Thorzdad at 2:52 PM on June 9, 2005


mrgrimm beat me to it.
posted by me3dia at 2:55 PM on June 9, 2005


I don't have anything to say, but with a nickname like mine I had to post something to this thread.
posted by brain_drain at 2:59 PM on June 9, 2005


Your reactions (well, those who didn't know it was an ad) remind me of the people who saw The Blair Witch Project at the film festival that first showed it; I believe it was in Cannes, in a midnight showing, and nobody in that theatre knew it wasn't real.

And I'll tell ya, I would have killed to be in that theatre, because that would have been some scary, scary stuff.

Similarly, I wish I hadn't read your comments before following the link. Ah, well.
posted by davejay at 3:00 PM on June 9, 2005


brain_drain: you win.

oh crap, and I just lost the game.
posted by davejay at 3:00 PM on June 9, 2005


does anyone know how to tell if your boss has one of those things in his head?
posted by pyramid termite at 3:14 PM on June 9, 2005


The world seems to be divided into those who, upon seeing something tremendously unusual presented, get excited by it and immediately want to share it with others, and those who always cynically suspect hijinks and immediately start looking for holes in the logic. For what it's worth, while it's sometimes more embarassing to be you, it's probably somewhat less interesting to be me (the moment I saw it was "nesting" in people's brains my fake-o-meter said uh-uh).
posted by nanojath at 3:48 PM on June 9, 2005


Damn you dave_jay. Damn you. I had, like, a month going there.
posted by elwoodwiles at 3:48 PM on June 9, 2005


i find myself winning the game pretty consistantly. If fact, I didn't know what davejay was talking about until elwoodwiles mentioned it. Of course now I've lost, but that's ok, I usually don't.
posted by puke & cry at 4:13 PM on June 9, 2005 [1 favorite]


Sweet, I won the -- oh, damn.
posted by brain_drain at 4:20 PM on June 9, 2005


Hmm. I didn't catch the misspelling. But it started seeming rediculous enough that I backed up the URL and got taken to the coldfear page. The obviously photoshopped CAT scan is what threw me
posted by delmoi at 4:26 PM on June 9, 2005


you caught on quicker than some of us will readily admit, delmoi--we won't "redicule" you for that.
posted by gorgor_balabala at 5:13 PM on June 9, 2005


Shucks. I thought Cthulhu had finally awakened.
posted by bardic at 5:35 PM on June 9, 2005


I have been well and truly rooked.

Tell that to the claw in my brain.
posted by UseyurBrain at 5:54 PM on June 9, 2005


It was the picture of the head emerging from the sand with its mouth open and the tentacle trailing out of it. FAR too good. Reminded me of those great "satellite pictures" of the shuttle explosion my Dad industriously sent me.

Then, of course, I checked the comments to make sure I was right, so I guess it DID have me a bit.
posted by Peach at 6:08 PM on June 9, 2005


Did anyone notice the links at the bottom - "Research" "Links" etc.? They all go to similar-looking, but real, oceanographic sites with long acronym names. Clicking on research takes you to IOPAS, the Polish Oceanographic Institute's listing of recent work, for example. I was wondering why so many real scientists were working on this, and then I realized the redirection,

Supercool, they get extra credit.
posted by blahblahblah at 6:47 PM on June 9, 2005


Well, this certainly had me going, but then I'd only recently learned of something that sounded much like this...

Link to the text of the full article here.
posted by dreamsign at 6:56 PM on June 9, 2005


I guess that while I was impressed by the "real" look/feel of the website, it was very clear from the get-go that it was fiction -- I didn't immediately think "hoax" or "ad" so much as I thought it might be part of a game or part of a science fiction story in the form of a website or something like that.

But the tone at the top of the page was an immediate tip off that whatever it was, it was made-up.

Superseding all standing F3 directives, TOP CFGOA PRIORITY is now the acquisition of a complete exocell organism specimen...

There's not an oceanographic or biology institution in the world that talks or writes like this. Also, there was all this talk about an organism, but where was the LATIN? Taxonomy, people!

And I didn't even notice "Bullitins..."
posted by BT at 7:00 PM on June 9, 2005


Hell, has the "calamari that bites back" even made FPP?

I am making that my TOP PRIORITY. Right after I play this video game a bit more.
posted by dreamsign at 7:17 PM on June 9, 2005


Also it's spelled "superceding".
posted by kenko at 7:34 PM on June 9, 2005


The name 'exocell' gave it away for me. It just sounds like something from a video game, or the name of an alien species. Not something biologists would come up with.
posted by obvious at 8:05 PM on June 9, 2005


So how should I defend myself against these creatures?
posted by tr33hggr at 8:05 PM on June 9, 2005


kenko: supersede is spelled with an 's'
posted by karuna at 8:35 PM on June 9, 2005


Your reactions (well, those who didn't know it was an ad) remind me of the people who saw The Blair Witch Project at the film festival that first showed it; I believe it was in Cannes, in a midnight showing, and nobody in that theatre knew it wasn't real.

Hey davejay! I was at that midnight showing! Coolness.
posted by Deathalicious at 9:30 PM on June 9, 2005


I didn't catch the misspelling. But it started seeming rediculous

Very nice.
Googlefight: superseding 384000, superceding 74000. kenko is correct: it is indeed spelled superceding, just not correctly.
posted by Aknaton at 9:40 PM on June 9, 2005


I knew this was fake from the moment I saw "CFOGA" because what the hell marine agency is that? The "Alaska State Marine Life laboratory" doesn't exist. "Niarkrok Isortoq" doesn't look much like actual Inupiat words to me. The MRI scan is ridiculous: no MRI scan comes out that clear. And no scientific bulletin is going to simultaneously compare something to a squid and a vertebrate amphibian.

The story about the boat going down in AK recently and the fishermen being missing is true though, which is not too cool IMHO. If you're going to fake the rest so badly you could leave real dead people out of it.
posted by fshgrl at 3:29 AM on June 10, 2005


The very first photo looked doctored to me, the MRI looked like that cartoon MRI of Homer's brain, and then when I saw the skull with the tentacle coming out I said "FAKE!" out loud. Then I went to the root website and got redirected.

That said, I was pretty excited before I got all sceptical :-)
posted by doozer_ex_machina at 4:30 AM on June 10, 2005


fshgrl writes "The story about the boat going down in AK recently and the fishermen being missing is true though, which is not too cool IMHO. If you're going to fake the rest so badly you could leave real dead people out of it."

Excellent point.


"I knew this was fake from the moment I saw 'CFOGA' because what the hell marine agency is that? The 'Alaska State Marine Life laboratory' doesn't exist. 'Niarkrok Isortoq' doesn't look much like actual Inupiat words to me. The MRI scan is ridiculous: no MRI scan comes out that clear. And no scientific bulletin is going to simultaneously compare something to a squid and a vertebrate amphibian."

Polymath or Jeopardy contestant?
posted by orthogonality at 5:15 AM on June 10, 2005


I have to say it stopped fooling me just after looking at the pictures. Even for an advert, it isn't a very good hoax. I did however fall for snopes' Lost Legends page, so I can't much brag about being ungullible.
posted by Citizen Premier at 6:37 AM on June 10, 2005


Firing on all cylinders yesterday, yup.
posted by kenko at 7:35 AM on June 10, 2005


While this was pretty obviously a hoax, species that control their hosts' brains are not fiction.

Consider the Dicrocoelium dendriticum, which parasites three species over its life-cycle. The second animal parasited is an ant; a (kamikaze) dendriticum lodges in the ant's brain to ensure its "brothers" can get to the next host in the cycle:
The brainworm emits chemicals that alter the behavior of the ant causing the ant to spend inordinate amounts of time hanging out on the tips of grass where it is exceedingly more likely to be eaten by a grazing sheep, cow, deer or rabbit.
In fact, dendriticum is not unique in controlling its hosts' behavior, and is interesting to biologists more so because of the "altruism" of the kamikaze, which dies when the sheep eats the ant.

Toxoplasma gondii also alters behavior, in that case of mammals: it makes rats change their behavior in such as way as to make them more likely to be eaten by cats. gondii's motive is the same as dendriticum's: when the rat is eaten the parasite moves to its next-stage host.
"Rats can usually detect subtle changes in their environment. It makes them very hard to trap or poison but this parasite overrides the innate response - they almost taunt the cats in a sense."
Toxoplasma gondii is also found in human brains -- it's unknown whether it similarly alters human behavior, but some studies suggest it does:
the women infected with toxoplasma spent more money on clothes and were consistently rated as more attractive. “We found they were more easy-going, more warm-hearted, had more friends and cared more about how they looked,” he said. “However, they were also less trustworthy and had more relationships with men.”

By contrast, the infected men appeared to suffer from the “alley cat” effect: becoming less well groomed undesirable loners who were more willing to fight. They were more likely to be suspicious and jealous. “They tended to dislike following rules,” Flegr said.
For more, see this post.
posted by orthogonality at 7:56 AM on June 10, 2005


Starro!
posted by brand-gnu at 8:51 AM on June 10, 2005


While this was pretty obviously a hoax, species that control their hosts' brains are not fiction.

But none of them grow through the brainstem ;)
posted by fshgrl at 11:26 AM on June 10, 2005


Polymath or Jeopardy contestant?

Or North Pacific marine biologist.
posted by fshgrl at 11:28 AM on June 10, 2005


aknaton:

Very nice.
Googlefight: superseding 384000, superceding 74000. kenko is correct: it is indeed spelled superceding, just not correctly.


Majority usage on the internet, almost always will give you the correct spelling. Supersede, with an 's' is indeed the preferred way to spell that word. This guy also backs me up.
posted by karuna at 2:55 PM on June 11, 2005


ouch, should have re-read aknaton's post before posting. Metafilter (and life in general) needs an undo button.
posted by karuna at 2:59 PM on June 11, 2005


THIS IS REAL
posted by herostratus at 1:14 AM on June 13, 2005


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