Tuesday, 3 April 2012

A - Z Challenge: D is for Demon Stingerfish and also for Dahl, Roald

is for


        PART 1:

        WHAT IS IT?

The Demon Stingerfish (Inimicus caledonicus) and also known as Demon Stinger or the Bearded Ghoul [1].  

It isn't one of the larger in the oceans but the fact that the long dorsal spines running down its back can inflict a painful wound means that it was always destined to be one of the more memorable.

The interesting thing about this wee beastie is that while poisonous land animals go out of their way to show that they are dangerous with bright colours, loud sounds and, if all else fails, a slick advertising campaign our fishy friend has selected a colouring that could teach the armies of the world something about the art of camouflage.

It has no known natural predators since anything that ever considered eating it was most likely very drunk at the time [2] but if it is disturbed it will fan its fins as a warning which is the oceanic equivalent of loading the shotgun with rocksalt.
It uses the camouflage to lie around on the ocean floor and wait for something edible to wander past [3] but anything that puts that much effort into hiding obviously has a past with a capital P.


If you go swimming in the tropical marine waters of The Eastern Indian Ocean to the Western Pacific, generally around Northern Queensland. [4]

It prefers shallow waters to the cold Stygian depths, I state with confidence that it has done this on purpose because our underwater screams of pain are sweet sweet nectar to this monster

Not surprisingly there doesn't seem to be much that you can do with a poisonous fish in the real world [5] apparently you can prepare it as a sort of poor mans Fugu [6] but since mankind eats pretty much everything on this planet this isn't saying much.

Possibly you could keep it as the more macho kind of pet but I recommend obtaining one through the pet shop rather than trying to go through customs with this thing down your jeans.

It would be easy to put a supernatural twist on this little fishy and turn them into an actual demon for your hero to fight.

The most important part of the fish is the venom Perhaps, when it harvested corrrectly it distills into a powerful toxin that causes an especially terrible death.  An assassin would find this of interest when tasked to deliver a message to a rival as would any who investigated the murder.

Alternativly it might be that the poison, when applied in a careffully concentrated dose, is a curative and can neutralize another poison.  However the use of this is almost certainly a move of the utmost desperation.

The fish might be used as an impromptu anesthetic in order to allow emergency surgery.  Again, utmost and final resort.


        PART 2:

is also for
Dahl, Roald

Ahh, Roald Dahl, author of so many books that remain beloved of children and adults [7]  Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Fantastic Mr Fox, The BFG and many others were his creations and the world is a richer place for them all.

But if you only thought that he wrote for children then you, my friend, are making a grave error.  Roald Dahl's other works keep the humour that you'll find in his childrens books but the macabre dial is often turned up to 11.

I heartily recommend the childrens books to anyone with young children that are ready to take the next step in their reading levels.  The adult ones, not so much.

  1. But is a big softy really.
  2. And very dead afterwards
  3. This is a fish that doesn't go out hunting but stays very still so it can go “ Surprise!” Its those fleeting moments of terror that make its dinner all the sweeter.
  4. Its a sad fact that everything in the ocean wants to kill you, even the dolphins, better come to New Zealand. The worst we have are hunting kiwis and the migrating tribes of Hobbits.
  5. A rather loose definition but better than nothing
  6. The real stuff being made with Pufferfish and only by people who have had special training. Don't catch the thing and then just slap it on the grill is what I'm saying.
  7. Sometimes the only difference is the size of the trousers

The Dolomphious Duck,
who caught Spotted Frogs for her dinner
with a Runcible Spoon.


  1. I've read some of Roald Dahl's adult short stories. Those are DISTURBING. Fascinating, but super creepy. I had to put one of the books down for awhile once, it was too much. But really interesting. Then again, his children's books were pretty weird once you look past the glossy sheen of the parts that appeal to kids...!

    1. I think that the first one I read was about a woman who killed her husband with a leg of lamb and the twist was she served it up to the policemen while they were concluding that her husband had been killed by a large blunt instrument!

  2. I could see the stingerfish being useful...I'd probably just be too scared to handle it to actually get to use it. I'd make a terrible baddie, methinks...too much of a scaredy-cat. :(

    Love, love Dahl! So superbly weird! (Can envision an introductory conversation going something like this, though: "Wow! I'm a big fan! Now...if my friend doesn't hear from me in 10 minute intervals, she is going to the police.")X

    1. You're right. Keep the fish as a lower level minion because any real power would result in betrayal and treachery (like Starscream)

  3. You have opened my eyes. I never knew Dahl had anything for adults. I'm looking it up in my kindle as we speak. I'f I'm not back in ten minutes....

  4. We'll understand and attempt to clean things up so that there isn't a scandle.