Flying Iguanas Terrorize Blacktip Island Residents

flying iguanas

Recent incidents of Blacktip Island’s rock iguanas flying into moving vehicles and across crowded bars has island resident on edge this week. (photo courtesy of Jimi World)

A spate of incidents involving airborne iguanas on Blacktip Island has created health and safety worries among the small Caribbean island’s residents, authorities said Thursday.

“People are reporting iguanas flying through the air at bars, at resorts and on both roadways,” Island Police Constable Rafe Marquette said. “Several motorists were struck when iguanas sailed through open car windows while the autos were in motion. There’s been at least two wrecks because of that.

“It seems to be the smaller iguanas involved, thankfully,” Marquette said. “Any of the large ones hit anyone, that’d cause major injuries. We’re looking into the causes, and whether they’re actually flying or just vigorously jumping.”

Island residents confirmed the reports.

“This ain’t just iguanas falling out of trees, like you hear about in Florida,” Harry Blenny said. “I never seen one take off, so I can’t say if it’s flight or a big jump. But one cleared the bar at the Ballyhoo a couple of days ago. Smack in the middle of happy hour, so there’s plenty of witnesses.”

Local scientists were puzzled by the new behavior.

“There’s no wings, or added skin flaps to help them glide,” Tiperon University-Blacktip biology professor Lucille Ray said. “All specimens involved are just bog-standard iguanas. But they’re traveling considerable distances. We’re busy examining why they’ve changed their behavior so drastically and so suddenly.”

Other residents focused on the possibility the iguanas had help flying.

“Every time one of them iguanas flies through the air, Dermott Bottoms and James Conlee’re somewhere close by,” Rocky Shore said. “Once or twice is a coincidence, but every time? Dermott and James were the first ones to notice it happening, too. Me? I smell a rat. Or iguana, rather. I think Dermott’s flinging them.”

Bottoms denied the accusation.

“I never threw no iguana at anything. Or anyone,” he said. “Every time something odd happens on this island, I get blamed. It’s not right. And anyway, anybody tried to catch and throw iguanas, even small ones, they’d get the hell scratched out of their arms.

“Them things’re tougher than they look,” Bottoms said. “I had to drag one out from under the house last week, and it liked to’ve torn me up. It is funny, though, watching folks trying to keep their cars on the road with pissed off iguanas thrashing in the front seat.”

Marquette said he was taking the accusations against Bottoms seriously.

“If people—anyone—is throwing iguanas, that’s animal cruelty and will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” he said. “Dermot says the scratches on his arms are from working in the bush, but I’m having the nurse confirm that.

“I have my eye on Dermott. And James. If they’re responsible for this, they will be apprehended. If not, well, I’ll have to find out what’s scaring the hell out of all these lizards. It may be the mersquatch.”

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Yep. That time of week again:

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Blacktip Island weather

sunday aug 22

Sunday, August 22, 2021
Temperature: 87
Humidity 66%
Precipitation – Soon come

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Newly-Discovered Laser Clams Injure Blacktip Island Beachgoers

laser clams

The shell of a newly-discovered ‘laser clam,’ killed Thursday by Clete Horn on Blacktip Island’s Eye Patch Beach. (photo courtesy of James St. John)

A newly-discovered species of clams, able to shoot bursts of laser energy several feet, injured multiple beachgoers on Blacktip Island’s Eye Patch Beach Thursday, island authorities said.

“Kids were out there digging in the sand, like they always do, when a clam zapped little Shelley Bottoms’ smack on the forehead,” Island Police Constable Rafe Marquette said. “A couple other kids got hit, then two adults who were pulling them out of harm’s way.

“I’ve never seen, or heard of, anything like it,” Marquette said. “Those clams have about a six-foot range. There’s no way to tell how widespread they are, but we have that whole stretch of beach roped off for safety. Hopefully we can contain them and they won’t spread to other beaches.”

Marine science experts say the clams likely evolved in response to environmental factors.

“Clete Horn managed to whack one with a shovel, so I have a dead one to examine,” Tiperon University-Blacktip marine biology professor Ernesto Mojarra said. “It’s essentially a razor clam that’s developed the ability to focus the sun’s energy. Near as I can tell, it’s a defensive adaptation that’s triggered by perceived threats.

“The mutation is almost certainly a result of landfill runoff leaching through the beach sand,” Mojarra said. “The island dump is just inland from there, and there’ve been mutated fish on that stretch of reef for years. This was really just a matter of time.”

Island officials are taking the danger seriously.

“Closing the beach and posting warning signs is a no brainer, but losing that beach is a hit below the waterline for our tourism,” mayor Jack Cobia said. “If need be, we’ll soak that beach in diesel fuel and light it on fire so we can open it up again.

“Meantime, we’ve got Stoney MacAdam and Rocky Shore out there with welding goggles, gloves and camp mirrors,” Cobia said. “When one of those clams shoots a laser, the mirrors’ll bounce it right back and toast it. And if that doesn’t kill it, Clete Horn’ll club it with his shovel.”

Other residents favored preserving the clams.

“We certainly don’t want any kiddos getting their eyes put out or losing toes, so we appreciate them from a distance,” Chrissy Graysby said. “They’re beautiful after dark. We took the little ones to the beach last night, and the clams were out fighting for territory, with their different-colored lasers flashing. From a distance, it looked like a miniature Star Wars.”

Others hailed the clams as a new food source.

“Sure, you gotta move careful around them, and use long sticks to stay out of range, but they’re tasty little things,” Angela Fisher said. “They’re like regular razor clams, only better. The little lasers partially cook the meat, which really brings out the flavor. I’m selling Jack Cobia on the idea of farm raising them to sell to local restaurants.”

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I’m in a Wednesday state of mind . . .

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Blacktip Island Weather

sunday aug 15

Sunday, August 15, 2021

Temperature: 86

Humidity 67%

Precipitation – Maybe later

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Arrow Polo Is Blacktip Island’s New Olympic Sport

archery meets water polo

Blacktip Island water polo players will face new challenges with the inclusion of shore-based archers in their matches. (photo courtesy of Vinny Abalone)

A group of Blacktip Island sports enthusiasts has combined elements of water polo and archery to create a new sport, which it hopes to introduce to the world in the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris.

“We were bored silly watching the Olympics and reckoned we could combine two of the dullest sports to create something actually worth watching,” Vinny Abalone said. “Arrows flying amongst the swimmers really gets the blood pumping. And flowing. We’re calling it ‘arrow polo,’ but we’re open to other suggestions.

“Basically, archers on land shoot arrows at the ball during water polo matches,” Abalone said. “The goal is to hit the ball as many times as possible. You get extra points if you shoot the ball whilst it’s in the air. You lose points if you hit a swimmer, though—it’s a sliding scale, ranging from minus one point for a pierced hand, to minus three for a torso hit, and minus five for a full-on head shot.”

Polo players say the sport presents new challenges.

“Before, the biggest danger was an opposing player dunking you. Now it’s being impaled,” Rosie Blenny said. “Straight away, we all grabbed helmets and body armor. It slows you down, but it also makes you a stronger swimmer. If you survive.

“We also banned broadhead arrows,” Blenny said. “Sure, they made things more exciting for the spectators, but it’s bad for the sport if you have players bleeding out in the pool. We also installed screens so the wind wouldn’t throw the arrows off by too much.”

Some in the community expect the sport to be short lived.

“It’s a Blacktip cliche: get bored, create a new activity, then everyone gets tired of it after a month or two,” Frank Maples said. “Long term, Vinny and his lot are angling for a free trip to Paris. More power to them, if they can stay focused for three years. And live through it. Stanger things have happened.”

Abalone said the group is refining the sport as they go.

“There was loads of blood in the water last practice, so we need to sort out how to factor that in,” he said. “We discussed using blunt-tipped arrows that wouldn’t puncture the balls or anyone’s skin, but that ran counter to the spirit of the sport.

“Instead, we decided to add sharks to the game,” he said. “It’s a small pool, so the thrashing should really add to the excitement.”

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Wednesday! Yay!

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Blacktip Island Weather

sunday aug 8

Sunday, August 8, 2021

Temperature: 83

Humidity 61%

Precipitation – Seriously?

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Blacktip Island ‘Dog Days Night’ Will Celebrate End Of Dog Days

End of dog days

Blacktip Island residents will celebrate the binary star Sirius leaving its conjunction with the Sun this weekend, marking the end of the so-called ‘dog-days of summer,’ when the celestial bodies are said to combine to cause extreme heat and extreme behavior. (photo courtesy of NASA, ESA and G. Bacon.)

Blacktip Island residents will celebrate the end of the ‘dog days’ of summer this weekend with the 23rd annual Dog Days Night celebration at the Sand Spit bar to mark the Sun and Sirius—the dog star—no longer being in conjunction, DDN organizers said.

“Technically, Sirius and the Sun are still in conjunction through Wednesday, but we’re celebrating Saturday and Sunday when most people can get time off, “Tiperon University-Blacktip astrology chair Rigel Estrella said. “Wives’ tale or no, Blacktippers worry the stars make them crazy. People are serious about Sirius here. We’re glad when those days behind us each year.

“Looney-wise, I’m not sure you can tell the difference between dog-day and non-dog-day behavior on Blacktip, but the party’s a tradition,” Estrella said. “Monday people can go back to what passes for normal on this little rock after they let off some steam.”

Residents agreed.

“Can’t wait for all the bad juju to blow away,” Catalina Luxfer said. “I figure if we party hard enough, it’ll chase all the negative vibes off. Everybody’s gonna dance on the beach ‘til they drop. All the island dogs’ll be there, too. All three of them.

“Folks tend to stay inside ‘til the dog days pass, so it’ll be good to see everyone out, and mix with them again,” Luxfer said. “Dog Days Night’s when folks really come out of their shells, and that’s saying a lot on Blacktip.”

Event organizers say the event will feature the usual dog-themed activities.

“We’ll have the Dog Show and Best Dog Tricks contest, as ever, with all contestants being people in dog costumes,” master of ceremonies Kay Valve said. “We’ll also have the ball-chasing contest, the stick tug-off and Frisbee toss out on the beach. After the sun drops, of course, so no one passes out in their costumes.

“The Sand Spit’ll be doing its usual meal service in dog bowls,” Valve said. “People love scarfing ground-up burgers and salads like it’s kibble. And slurping beer out of tin pans. It really brings the community together in a canine sort of way. And there will be fines for public urination and nipping at people’s ankles.”

Some residents say the celebration will be bittersweet.

“It’s great to have the hot, crazy days behind us, but it also means the heart of the hurricane season’s coming up,” B.C. Flote said. “Now folks’ll be glued to the interweb weather sites, watching for big storms and buying up cases of water. That’s another kind of craziness. Me, I’ll take the dog days any time.”

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