Written by judekyle
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Topics: Discovery, straight

Monday, 6 June 2005

In an astounding announcement on the deck of the Belafonte, at anchor in the Baring Straight, Oceanographer Steve Zissou shocked the world with his latest discovery.

"Yes," said Zissou, "We have found a living specimen of the Hydrodamalis gigas - Steller's sea cow."

This animal is an incredible find for science. Long thought extinct at the hands of seal hunters, sailors and those who used their skins to build boats, Hydrodamalis gigas' comeback could lead to a reevaluation of numerous species thought extinct in the Arctic Ocean.

"Vith dee unique climate problems of dee North, it is difficult to conduct research," explained Klaus Daimler, long time Team Zissou member. "Ve can't know anything for certain until ve prove it vith our own eyes. But dee finding of dis cow vill lead to many future expeditions."

Thought extinct since the late 1700s, stories and rumors have long circulated that Stellar's sea cow, the 40' long relative of manatees and Dugongs, was simply hiding from human eyes.

"It's always been a dream of mine to find one of these creatures," said Zissou. "Ever since I swam with a manatee in my youth I knew that I was destined to be the benefactor of the order Sirenia."

The voyage of the Belafonte was not without difficulty, however. Climate conditions and an attempted mutiny by the newest member of Team Zissou, Zissou's own son Ned Plympton, hampered Zissou's Sireniathropic expedition.

"I have no comment," said Zissou when asked questions about the attempted mutiny.

But Plympton was not so quiet:

"Steve seems to think, just because he's my father and a world reknowned oceanographer, that he knows best. Well, he doesn't and a night or two docked in Shishmaref wouldn't have killed us."

It was apparent, however, that the attempted mutiny by his son did little to dampen Steve Zissou's spirits.

"This fulfills a lifelong dream," said Zissou, "and that's reward enough. All this crazy talk about renaming the Baring Straight after me is foolish."

Team Zissou tried to persuade their Captain to at least allow oceanographers to rename the Hydrodamalis gigas after him, making it the Zissou sea cow, but he refused saying: I can't usurp the discovery of another oceanographer. It would be dishonorable."

The party continued on the Belafonte late into the night.

Team Zissou will spend the next two months in the straight preparing their latest documentary - the topic will, of course, be Steller's sea cow.

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The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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