The Corner

Frontiers of Science

Here’s a thing I have never seen discussed, a small scientific mystery that perhaps our erudite readers might be able to shed some light on.

I was stuck at the weekend in a waiting room with nothing for company but a tank full of tropical fish.  I watched them for half an hour or so.  They seemed pretty happy; but the thing that puzzled me was, none of them ever seemed to pass gas.

Do they?  Fish, I mean.  Pass gas?  It seems to me they ought to.  I mean, they eat animal and vegetable matter, and process it in their little alimentary tracts, so presumably there must be some gaseous by-products.  Nope:  I watched very closely, and not one of the little blighters let out any tell-tale train of bubbles.

Seems to me this needs looking into.  Wonder if I could get a grant?

John Derbyshire — Mr. Derbyshire is a former contributing editor of National Review.

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