Wylde about....The Cold War.

Wylde about....The Cold War.

In 1981, tensions between East and West were high, to say the least.¬†Matters were not helped when a Soviet submarine beached itself in Swedish waters. Moscow apologised, but clearly NATO and the US had been rattled. They ordered millions more dollars to be spent monitoring the goings on beneath the waves.¬†And that increased monitoring led to a very worrying new discovery.¬†The dastardly Soviets were not only up to their old submarine tricks, but they had clearly invented some sort of additional underwater device. The Americans knew this because of all the extraordinary noises they were detecting with all their expensive new monitoring kit, as well as the fine trails of bubbles they would spot from time to time on the sea‚Äôs surface.¬†So for an entire month in 1982 - and at vast expense - an enormous number of NATO boats, submarines, helicopters and satellites tried to track these bubbles and noises in order to identify this latest bit of insidious Russian warfare technology.¬†But to no avail. Indeed, these secret seabound tensions carried on well into the 1990s as the West continued to scratch its collective head.¬†And then in 1996, in desperation, Swedish top military brass did the unthinkable. They invited a civilian in to listen to and observe this greatest of underwater riddles.¬†Magnus Wahlberg, then Professor in Bioacoustics at the University of Southern Denmark, promptly solved the mystery.¬†Herring farts.¬†I kid you not.¬†It turns out that herrings communicate with each other by farting. This - as any 6 year old in a bath could tell you - is what explained both the noises and the bubbles.¬†The reason I know this is that last weekend when spending time with¬†Wylde producer Ian, he casually dropped into conversation that next week he's taking a day¬†off hauling in the creels.Fair enough, I thought, it's hard, difficult work. Who wouldn't rather put their feet up in front of the fire?But no,¬†he'll still be on the boat. It's just that rather than creels, he'll be dropping a series of anchored microphones into the herring-rich waters that surround his remote house on Scotland's wild west coast. It's all part of a research project led by Professor Karen Diele at Edinburgh Napier University to help find out more about these incredible fish and their, ahem, ‚Äėlanguage‚Äô.¬†It really is amazing what our producers get up to!Don't worry - we should still have plenty of his creel caught langoustines and squat lobsters for Wednesday's market.And do click on the Instagram logo below to see how one Wylde customer last night turned those squat lobsters into the most exquisite dinner....¬†NickPS ‚Äď thanks to everyone who responded re fish filleting masterclasses. More coming on that soon.

 

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