BAHAMAS REEF FISH (14): HAMLETS (NOT GLOOMY DANES)
“Oh, that this too too solid flesh would melt, thaw and…” Ah! Sorry. I’m soliloquising again. Must be Thursday. And the merest mention of Hamlet is enough to set anyone off. But I speak not of noble yet gloomy Danes of Elsinore and of discernibly introspective aspect. These ones are pretty reef fish of the Caribbean seas, mainly in the Bahamas and along the Florida coast. There are a number of different types of hamlet, of which the 4 featured below in Melinda’s amazing underwater images were were encountered in one dive.
Hamlets have outstandingly interesting reproductive skills, being ‘synchronous hermaphrodites’. They have the unusual benefit of having both male and female sexual organs as adults, permitting imaginative combinations of pairings (though not including self-fertilization). When they find a mate, “the pair takes turns between which one acts as the male and which acts as the female through multiple matings, usually over the course of several nights”. I don’t dare check whether there are websites that cater for this sort of energetic coupling. The wonder is that Hamlets preferentially mate with individuals of their same colour pattern, and that they are not more wanton with their attentions and sexual flexibility.
OPTIONAL CULTURAL, HISTORICAL & MUSICAL DIVERSION INSPIRED BY HAMLET
The other notable Hamlet is, of course, the mild cigar equated in the famed commercials with happiness, accompanied by an excerpt from a jazzy version of Bach’s ‘Air on the G String’. Here is one of the best – and possibly the only advert to my knowledge to feature not one, but two excellent Sir Walter Raleigh jokes.
Bach’s well-known descending chord sequence of was of course
shamelessly ripped off by ingeniously adapted by Procol Harum for ‘A Whiter Shade of Pale’, their first single in 1967. Relive the Summer of Love right here and now. Is this the music that might even put those versatile hamlets in the mood…
Any fret-tweakers might like to see the sheet music of the Air for guitar – you could even play it on air guitar – which is relatively easy, being in C major.Credits: All fish pics Melinda Riger of Grand Bahama Scuba, except wiki-header; open-source online material; my mp3, dammit – I can’t get the wretched tune out of my mind…
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The first couple of picture certainly do look like gloomy Danes, RH, which is surprising considering their sexual talents – you’d think they’d be particularly cheerful.
Ah how I loved the Hamlet adverts. Thank you for the reminder!
I expect they are puzzling over how to make the first move in their next encounter. What the best ‘chat up’ line, do you suppose? Re old ads, I put up the old Del Monte one (“the man from Del Monte says…YES”) in a pineapple post. Sounds like the same voiceover man… RH
interesting those hamlets – and what a great idea of evolution to be able to choose being male or female. Isn`t it a pity that we cannot do this?
I always liked Procul Harum – long, long ago …
Have a happy weekend
It’s quite a thought, isn’t it, translated to human relationships. An interesting prospect for aficionados of ‘one-night stands’… where to begin?! There must be a book in this, maybe futurist sci-fi in which humans have developed this ability. On second thoughts, best not – just listen to some nice Procol Harum instead. RH
I suppose we have to write this book – but maybe in sci-fi someone already had this idea – I don`t know I am not a Sci-Fi-reader.
Have a happy day
Procol Harum was a fine band.
Agreed. And Robin Trower, who later joined as guitarist, has never lived down the rather unfair Hendrix comparisons. First 4 albums (and the live one) brilliant, then rather downhill – except for his 2 excellent blues albums in the mid-90s. Back to wildlife now! RH
I love this post, RH. Your Hamlets looks very nice and most exotic to a northern soul. The video is great! 🙂 🙂 – tand otally new to me. Siri and Selma are laughing themselves silly. 🙂
Sorry for delay in replying, Dina – quick visit abroad (Wales!). The Hamlet Cigar ad series was an excellent one running over several years, this one among the best. Must try and get a better version. Meanwhile, yes, the hamlet fish are very charming and colourful. RH