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08-04-2012, 11:03 PM   #1
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K-30 in the field and WTF???

So I took my new K-30 with me on patrol today, and I got a chance to use it in the field. A homeowner called police because he found what he thought may be a spinal cord when cleaning out the little concrete fish pond in his back yard. He said as soon as he fished the thing out from the bottom of the pond and sat it on the ground, flies started landing on it. My partner handled the thing with rubber gloves, and he smelled his gloves afterward and said they smelled pretty bad.

After inspecting it for a while, all three of us were pretty sure that it was not any kind of bone, but we really couldn't figure out what it was. It's about 20 inches long, and is fairly rigid but not completely hard. It seems to be, uh...meaty...if you look at the spot where it's damaged. It also attracted a lot of those metallic flies (you know, the ones that like to land on poop). It doesn't seem to have any kind of fiber like you would expect from a plant. But it doesn't seem to have any bone in it either. The surface of it is covered with these kind of round knobby things on both sides. The round things are flattened on the end, and have some holes in the end of them. There is also a smaller section branching off near one end.

We were all pretty stumped, but I made a guess at what it might be, and the other two couldn't come up with anything better. But I'm not sure that my guess is right, so I'll not share it now. I'm posting the pics below, and would like to hear any guesses at what this thing is.

Is it plant? Is it animal? Is it something out of this world??? The Pentax community has been able to answer all the other questions I've posted on here in the past, so I figured I'd give you guys a crack at this one!

(BTW, the lens was the Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8, and we told the homeowner he could go ahead and dispose of the thing.)















08-05-2012, 12:56 AM   #2
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Rotting tentacle of an octopus?
08-05-2012, 01:04 AM   #3
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It looks like some kind of dead Acropora to me. Acropora Formosa or something. But that doesn't figure, because what would it be doing THERE?!

http://www.poppe-images.com/photo/collection/900000/web/905183.jpg
08-05-2012, 01:42 AM   #4
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Spinal cord of an alien? They are out there, you know...

08-05-2012, 01:50 AM   #5
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Yeah looking like tentacles of something. Someone littering in the field I guess
08-05-2012, 01:56 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by roentarre Quote
Yeah looking like tentacles of something. Someone littering in the field I guess
Brings back memories... Day of the Tentacle - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
08-05-2012, 02:13 AM - 1 Like   #7
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Did the pond have any Nymphaea in it? If it had I'm almost certain that it is a half-rotten root from a Nymphaea. I've seen the roots in aquarium's and also accidentally got a big one when fishing, they got a pineapple look with a spongy feel and I'm pretty sure this is how they look half-rotten.

Found a pic of a similar looking one:
http://pics.davesgarden.com/pics/2009/05/23/HollyAnnS/6303a0.jpg
08-05-2012, 02:53 AM   #8
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I think a rotten rhizome is definitely the most likely explanation ;-)

Can't believe he called the police. What kind of scenario was it he was imagining, that a spinal cord would end up in his pond?

08-05-2012, 05:27 AM   #9
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Piece of sh-t?
08-05-2012, 07:01 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by vinceloc Quote
Rotting tentacle of an octopus?
That was actually my initial guess, since I thought that maybe the knobby things could be suckers. But upon further reflection, it seems that a tentacle would be more floppy, and I don't know if a tentacle would ever have an off-shoot. Not that I'm an expert on tentacles.
08-05-2012, 07:07 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by ihasa Quote
Can't believe he called the police. What kind of scenario was it he was imagining, that a spinal cord would end up in his pond?
He was actually rather apologetic for calling the police, but I assured him that it was my best call of the day. Previous to that I had tried to get two half-crazy neighbors to stop constantly fighting with each other (and taking video of each other), I'd taken a 3 car accident report at the Wal-Mart, and I had spent two hours standing out in the sun blocking traffic for a house fire. I'll take an examination of a possible alien tentacle any day.

Last edited by Edgar_in_Indy; 08-05-2012 at 07:20 AM.
08-05-2012, 07:15 AM   #12
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Well, that was lovely to look at with a beer and a snack!
08-05-2012, 07:16 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by VisualDarkness Quote
Did the pond have any Nymphaea in it? If it had I'm almost certain that it is a half-rotten root from a Nymphaea.
I think you've solved the mystery, and you've been rep'd. The picture of nymphaea root (rhizome) you posted certainly looks like a match to me:



And here's a diagram I found:


Last edited by Edgar_in_Indy; 08-05-2012 at 07:27 AM.
08-05-2012, 07:20 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Unsinkable II Quote
Well, that was lovely to look at with a beer and a snack!
You're welcome!

According to one page I was reading about Nymphaea (aka Water Lilly), "The flowers, seeds, and rhizomes are edible raw or cooked". I think I'll pass.

Last edited by Edgar_in_Indy; 08-05-2012 at 07:27 AM.
08-05-2012, 10:08 PM   #15
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Nymphaea odarata is the Fragrant Waterlily:

Dropping out the background (2) | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

Jack
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