Saturday, February 14, 2009

The inspiring story of the starfish and the old man... REVEALED!


An old man was picking up objects off the beach and tossing them out into the sea.
A young man approached him and saw that the objects were starfish.

"Why in the world are you throwing starfish into the water?"

"If the starfish are still on the beach when the tide goes out and the sun rises high in the sky, they will die," replied the old man.

"That is ridiculous. There are thousands of miles of beach and millions of starfish.
You can't really believe that what you're doing could possibly make a difference!"

The wise old man picked up another starfish, paused thoughtfully,
and remarked as he tossed it out into the waves, 

"It makes a difference for this one."

Great story, right?  I'm sure you have all heard this heartwarming, heroic tale before.  Well, I did a little research about our friend the starfish and... and...

Sea stars have no brains and no blood. Their nervous system is spread through their arms and their “blood” is actually filtered sea water.

No brains?  No blood?  Sounds to me like the sea star could care less if someone were to throw it back into the ocean.  A SEA STAR DOESN'T EVEN KNOW WHEN IT IS OUT OF THE OCEAN!  STARFISH DON'T EVEN HAVE BRAINS!

Sounds like the young man in the story was completely wasting his time.  The old man in the story thinks that as he tosses each starfish into the sea that the starfish is thinking, "Thank goodness that man came along and saved my life!"  In reality, the starfish is thinking, "Slurp, shlop, slurp, shloppy." No, wait, the starfish isn't thinking anything of the sorts.  It's not thinking anything at all!

One last thing, I am not a Marine Biologist, but I doubt that throwing a starfish can not be good for the starfishes well being.  And IF the starfish just so happens to survive the initial toss, it would probably be too stunned or injured to make it's way back into the depths of the ocean.  

I have written my own version of this story.  One that makes much more sense.

An old man was pushing large objects off the beach and into the sea.
A young man approached him and saw that the objects were beached beluga whales.

"Why in the world are you pushing whales into the water?"

"If the whales are still on the beach when the tide goes out and the sun rises high in the sky, they will die," replied the old man.

"That is ridiculous. There are thousands of miles of beach and millions of whales.
You can't really believe that what you're doing could possibly make a difference!"

The wise old man pushed  another whale, paused thoughtfully,
and remarked as he shoved it out into the waves,

"It makes a difference for this one."

4 comments:

sacdaddy said...

Although your new story stands to reason, and is much more meaningful using the belugas, I find it equally as hard to believe, as it would take quite a tsunami to beach that many whales. And even if a tsunami did beach that many whales, how on earth did the old man survive it?

Tammy said...

This post explains your name tag :) Now I get it! So a sea-star is the same thing as a star-fish. Learned something new. And I have heard the original story from your post and will never be able to read it with the same tear in my eye now that you've done some research!

Cheeseboy said...

Steve, you are so right! No matter how we rephrase the story, it is going to be total BS. You make some very valid points.

Hadley Soffe said...

maybe the old man was just confused as he was skipping rocks.