Join 3,514 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


What kind of a machine bends a stalk of corn without breaking it?
June 25, 2009 12:48 PM   Subscribe

Stoned Wallabees make crop circles: Australian wallabies are eating opium poppies and creating crop circles as they hop around "as high as a kite", a government official has said.
posted by Astro Zombie (65 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

 
This gets the official stresstwig seal of fuck yes.
posted by stresstwig at 12:51 PM on June 25, 2009 [4 favorites]


There really needs to be some photos before this is even remotely believable (the crop circle part).
posted by ORthey at 12:54 PM on June 25, 2009


Wait... those aren't crop circles... they are writing out Coleridge's Kubla Khan!
posted by munchingzombie at 12:54 PM on June 25, 2009 [6 favorites]


Love the comments.
posted by bwanabetty at 12:54 PM on June 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


Opium seems to be a bit of a problem for wallabees, as Tasmania is the world's largest producer of legal opium. Footage of a Tasmanian opium field. The wallabees are even starting to annoy politicans. It's also apparently affecting deer and sheep.
posted by Astro Zombie at 12:55 PM on June 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


There are opium poppies in Australia?

A wallaby just might...
stop to...
check you out
let me go ooooooon

posted by boo_radley at 12:56 PM on June 25, 2009 [5 favorites]


Cute story... but no photos of the crop circles? I want to see some stoned-wallaby interpretive dance.
posted by Pantengliopoli at 12:57 PM on June 25, 2009 [2 favorites]


This is my favorite headline OF ALL TIME.
posted by threeturtles at 12:58 PM on June 25, 2009


I propose that from now on that silly dance the kids do at Phish concerts shall be known as The Stoned Wallaby.
posted by bondcliff at 12:58 PM on June 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


I wonder why humans aren't similarly compelled to walk in circles when stoned? Maybe no human has ever been high enough...hello, summer project!
posted by Go Banana at 12:58 PM on June 25, 2009 [2 favorites]


Wow, those comments ARE awesome.

I have seen a stoned wallaby but I don't know about them making crop circles. The one I saw was slurring his words and asking me for a dollar as he was trying to get the boat to see his brother in New Zealand - he looked in no mood to be formulating a series of complex agricultural design patterns. I could be wrong - they might have masterminded the twin tower attacks, who really knows?
Dijon, Hobart, Tasmania

posted by ORthey at 12:58 PM on June 25, 2009


Funny stuff. Reminded me of this. Or this.
posted by preparat at 12:58 PM on June 25, 2009


This is awesome.
posted by infinitywaltz at 1:01 PM on June 25, 2009


Sounds like a great metaphor for the war on drugs:
"Hi, we're attempting to stomp out these illegal bad drugs here with a series of actions that appear to follow some logical pattern but actually accomplish nothing, because we're actually stoned out of our minds on these same drugs. Oops. Well, what do you expect from someone with the brain of a marsupial?"
posted by wretched_rhapsody at 1:01 PM on June 25, 2009


I have never been prouder to be an Australian-American. Our stoned wildlife are the envy of the world.
posted by COBRA! at 1:02 PM on June 25, 2009 [4 favorites]


I was going to nurse my joey / But then I got high...
posted by Joe Beese at 1:03 PM on June 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


And now I've read the comments. Why does the BBC website get intelligent and hilarious commenters and my local news website gets illiterate bigoted rants? Are people in England just smarter, or do they not allow their idiots to own computers?

Either way, I think it's a better system.
posted by threeturtles at 1:04 PM on June 25, 2009 [3 favorites]


Those comments would give Metachat a run for its money!

I saw a whole bunch of them dingos going mad in my corn field only last night. I'm not sure if they were high or not but I'm pretty sure they were. One of them had a ghettoblaster and they were listening to some kind of fast electronic music. Lock 'em up and throw away the key, that's what I say!
Roger, Melbourne

posted by Non Prosequitur at 1:06 PM on June 25, 2009


Wallabees are damn junkies -
they'll steal from their own mother just to score some junk
posted by Flood at 1:06 PM on June 25, 2009


Watch me wallabees feed, mate. Watch me wallabees feed...
posted by jonp72 at 1:11 PM on June 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


Wallaby's a hell of a drug.
posted by steef at 1:11 PM on June 25, 2009


I still favor the Uncle-Jeb-with-a-weed-whacker-and-an-IV-drip-of-grain-alcohol theory of crop circles.
posted by jonp72 at 1:13 PM on June 25, 2009


Talk about being hopped up.
posted by Kabanos at 1:15 PM on June 25, 2009 [2 favorites]


I didn't know that Australia supplies about 50% of the world's legally-grown opium used to make morphine and other painkillers.
posted by rageagainsttherobots at 1:19 PM on June 25, 2009


Reminds me of the cow from Invader Zim episode "career day"
posted by mrzarquon at 1:20 PM on June 25, 2009


"Rick Rockliff, a spokesman for poppy producer Tasmanian Alkaloids".

Did Vonnegut start writing news copy for the BBC from his grave?
posted by lalochezia at 1:23 PM on June 25, 2009 [10 favorites]


Wallabies hopped on poppies hopped on poppies buffalo buffalo.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 1:26 PM on June 25, 2009 [2 favorites]


So now the aliens are getting our wallabees to make their billboards for them? That seems needlessly complex.
posted by tinatiga at 1:28 PM on June 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


Not only Rick Rockliff, but Lyndley Chopping are quoted or referenced in the article. Oh yes.
posted by rainbaby at 1:30 PM on June 25, 2009


Much cuter than those acid-dropping baby-eating Dingos.
posted by Ufez Jones at 1:34 PM on June 25, 2009


They can hop as high as a kite? That's pretty damn high.
posted by ODiV at 1:40 PM on June 25, 2009


"The wallabees are even starting to annoy politicans."

Well, God forbid...
posted by Naberius at 1:44 PM on June 25, 2009


Do you think those opium-eating wallabies would be junkies now if they hadn't first tried grass?

GATEWAY DRUG.
posted by Sys Rq at 1:44 PM on June 25, 2009 [4 favorites]


"The one interesting bit that I found recently in one of my briefs on the poppy industry was that we have a problem with wallabies entering poppy fields, getting as high as a kite and going around in circles," Lara Giddings told the hearing.

Never before have I yearned so intensely for an Oxford comma.
posted by Sys Rq at 1:57 PM on June 25, 2009


I must admit, it's pretty weird to see the opium poppy fields in Tasmania.
They have these lovely signs telling you that it would be exceedingly naughty to hop over the fence and frolic among the flowers.

Unfortunately, wallabies can't read.
posted by zamboni at 2:00 PM on June 25, 2009


I love how they found a photograph of a wallaby looking guilty.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 2:07 PM on June 25, 2009


I have to say it seems extremely unlikely to me that the wallabies are actually getting high. I don't know how they would manage to get a dose of opium large enough to have an effect given the number of poppies that they would have to eat to achieve a pharmacologically-active dose. I could be wrong, but it was my impression that you have to process large numbers of poppies to get even small quantities of opium. It's not like growing pot.
posted by Maias at 2:18 PM on June 25, 2009


Do you think those opium-eating wallabies would be junkies now if they hadn't first tried grass?

GATEWAY DRUG.


Sys Rq, I read that comment right as my phone rang and I could NOT stop laughing enough to answer. So now my client thinks I'm nuts. Thanks.
posted by threeturtles at 2:55 PM on June 25, 2009


I AM GOING TO KILL YOU, ASTRO ZOMBIE, YOU GREAT FUCKING THIEF!
posted by UbuRoivas at 3:02 PM on June 25, 2009


just as soon as i finish this mug of poppy tea...
posted by UbuRoivas at 3:06 PM on June 25, 2009


Wow. Hey, sorry man, you know, wow, my memory ain't really what it used .... um, hey. Wallabees, man. Those fuckers are hilarious.
posted by Astro Zombie at 3:14 PM on June 25, 2009


heh, yeah, true, *scratches nose* no worries, mate... *goes on the nod*
posted by UbuRoivas at 3:18 PM on June 25, 2009


This is my favorite headline OF ALL TIME.

Ditto.

Plus, hell, it's as good an explanation as any other...
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 3:21 PM on June 25, 2009


"I could be wrong, but it was my impression that you have to process large numbers of poppies to get even small quantities of opium."

Actually not that much. A few hundred grams of seeds is enough to have an effect (steeped to make a tea) and that assumes that the dosage for wallabies is the same as that in humans, a pretty big assumption. Here's a case of a human dieing after drinking a tea made from 3.5lbs.
posted by Mitheral at 3:36 PM on June 25, 2009


                        
                                /\ /|
                               (( |(|
                                \`|/
                                /  *~*.
                                \ .    `-.
                                 \`-=--^-'
                                  \ \
                                 _/  \
                                (  .  .
                               /'\ `--^--.--.
                              / __`--'|~\/~\/
                             / '  \.  |
                            (      )__|.
                            |      |  /
                            |     /  /
                            |   ./.'|
                            | . |/| |
                          _-' | | | |
                ______--~~  ..| |_|_|______
                \________--~ {_________,\_,\

posted by turgid dahlia at 3:57 PM on June 25, 2009 [2 favorites]


Yeah, but I don't think the wallabies are making tea is my point...
posted by Maias at 4:01 PM on June 25, 2009


Also, it's not the seeds... if a few hundred grams of poppyseeds could get you high, there'd be a lot more Jewish junkies...
posted by Maias at 4:01 PM on June 25, 2009


1. Not all poppy seeds are opium poppy seeds
2. Tea = diluted
posted by Sys Rq at 4:03 PM on June 25, 2009


Also, that tea website contains some possibly misleading information. The fact that the guy had high morphine levels in his blood doesn't necessarily mean it was due to the tea-- and after death, apparently morphine levels are not a reliable indicator of dosage. Plus, like most people who die from opioid overdose, he had also taken benzodiazepines-- so who knows if there were also opioid pills involved and this itself can be deadly in high doses.

Also, because of tolerance, you can't really say someone had a "lethal level" of opioids in his body-- the lethal level for me may be many times higher than for you if I have a tolerance. Finally, the link to the lab analysis of the tea talks about micrograms of morphine, a dosage at which LSD may be effective, but not morphine.
posted by Maias at 4:10 PM on June 25, 2009


Maias it's about the poppy head itself. It takes an enormous amount of them to make heroin (I think a quarter acre for a kilogram). This may be where you got the idea it takes a lot of opium to be active, but one head is enough to get one person reasonably high on opium if eaten, and enough to get five people without heavy tolerances into the stratosphere if smoked. So a wallaby eating four or five heads would reasonably not have any idea where it was going or what it was doing.
posted by JackarypQQ at 5:14 PM on June 25, 2009


WallabIes not wallabEEs. That is all.
posted by awfurby at 5:57 PM on June 25, 2009


Yes, the E is out of place in this story.
posted by UbuRoivas at 6:11 PM on June 25, 2009


Right. I would not want one of those fuckers trying to hug me.
posted by nebulawindphone at 6:53 PM on June 25, 2009


Has Australia considered shipping them to Afghanistan? A bunch of stoned wallabies frolicking in their poppy fields might just convince the Taliban to mellow out...
posted by problemspace at 10:31 PM on June 25, 2009


Not sure about that plan - are wallabies halal?
posted by UbuRoivas at 11:19 PM on June 25, 2009


They could be. The Wallaby kebabs I had at the 'Taste of Tasmania' food festival in Hobart a few summers ago were top-notch and served with hommus.
posted by evil_esto at 1:26 AM on June 26, 2009


Wow, this really is the perfect Crazy Australian Animal story.

For every country, there's a particular kind of news yarn that's guaranteed to get disproportionate international coverage. For the US, it's all about frivolous lawsuits and people getting shot for dumb reasons. In India, it's usually an unusual religious rite or a child being worshipped as a god. And in Australia, there's always a crocodile, emu or koala wreaking havoc of some sort.

The BBC's Sydney correspondent Nick Bryant wrote a great essay on the phenomenon:
The Brits love a good novelty Australian animal story, and never more so than when they involve kangaroos, sharks, koalas, snakes, Tasmanian devils and corpulent cane toads – or, ideally, a combination of all of the above.

Their narrative appeal lies, of course, in the buttressing effect they have on our dog-eared view of Australia, as a plucky frontier nation with a foul-mouthed - and probably foul-smelling - ‘Crocodile Dundee’ lurking behind every eucalyptus tree...
The ABC's the now-defunct Media Report took British journos to task over their animal obsession in a lively panel discussion last year. Basically their response was that they know there are more interesting things happening here, but their editors are always keen for another oddball fauna story. I can't say I blame them.
posted by embrangled at 2:06 AM on June 26, 2009 [2 favorites]


The Brits love a good novelty Australian animal story, and never more so than when they involve kangaroos, sharks, koalas, snakes, Tasmanian devils and corpulent cane toads – or, ideally, a combination of all of the abovee.

Australians love them too. *puts on newsreader voice* "An escaped kangaroo had authorities hopping mad today in downtown Adelaide..." etc.
posted by evil_esto at 2:28 AM on June 26, 2009


Heh. The potential for cliches is limitless.

Get this crocodile out of my swimming pool. And make it snappy!
posted by embrangled at 2:44 AM on June 26, 2009


Get this kangaroo off my lawn. And jump to it!
posted by UbuRoivas at 5:04 AM on June 26, 2009


Help! Tasmanian devils got into my vegetable patch and all hell broke loose.
posted by embrangled at 7:39 AM on June 26, 2009


Get that koala out of the opium patch, Poppy!
posted by five fresh fish at 9:54 AM on June 26, 2009


I for one welcome our new poppy-crocked Snoopy-dancing wallaby overlords.
posted by notashroom at 12:34 PM on June 26, 2009


Rick Rockliff, a spokesman for poppy producer Tasmanian Alkaloids...

I am SO moving to Australia.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 7:42 PM on June 26, 2009


Did This Jellyfish Crop Circle Accurately Predict A Solar Storm?
posted by homunculus at 2:00 PM on July 2, 2009


« Older Innovation, Ideas and the Global Standard of Livin...  |  In an 8-1 ruling,... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments