Punch,  42 (1862), 117.

The Voices of the Deep



News-Commentary, Drollery

Relevant illustrations:



D M *


Zoology, Animal Behaviour, Sound, Amusement, Music, Discovery

    Discusses an extract from a report in Galignani's Messenger on the research of Dr Dufosse, who claimed to have discovered the ability of fish to produce sounds from their 'pneumatic bladder[s]'. Suggests that fish should, on this basis, be able to talk and sing and to do so much better than the 'Talking Fish' attraction in London. Noting the report of 'the speeches of some fish' in 'that highly scientific book', the Arabian Nights, suggests that Dufosse will be able to interpret how fishes speak, a development that will make fishing more interesting. Goes on to speculate on the other intellectual powers of fish, including the possibility that they might be highly competent musicians and singers. Concludes by inviting those readers who doubt the speaking powers of any fish, to send it to the Punch offices where 'the matter shall be carefully discussed'. The illustration shows a fish singing, accompanied by another fish at a piano.

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