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Facts about Otters

That may or may not be true

– Otters use hair gel.

– Otter babies are very slippery and are commonly shot more than 450 feet during the birthing process. An extra-elasticated umbilical cord generally returns the otter to its mother, or somewhere nearby. Or upstream.

– There is a documentary series in the pipes called ‘How The Otter Half Live’, about class divides in the Dutch otter community.

– There has never been an otter prime minister.

– Apparently (* Thank you La Lynne on twitter), Otters are called “The Black Beast” in the Gaelic. Which is reassuring, if it means there are no more threatening animals in Scotland deserving of the name.

– To the human eye, otter penises look very tiny. On the otter hand, however, they’re very large.

- Otters are multilingual, but speak very very quietly.

– The most famous burlesque otter dancer is called Lotta.
Lotta the Hotta Otta.

– Each year, otters vote for their favourite artforms. In 2011, Otters voted overwhelmingly for their favourite film, in a 90% landslide. It was Showgirls.

– Otters have very bad taste in films. And are very slow to get the latest releases.

– There are fewer blogs written by otters than there are blogs written by people called Simon.

– There are no otters called simon. The name is deeply frowned upon in the otter community, as it means something very, very rude in otter.

– A group of otters started a political demonstration in sympathy with the one in New York last year. However, Otterpy The Corner Of This River Bend did not make as big a splash as they had been hoping.

– A ha ha ha ha ha. Splash.

– Otters don’t really eat fish. They do, however, like to eat other things, moulded into the shape of fish. Like chicken.

– Otters would like me to apologise on their behalf to any primary school students googling ‘Facts About Otters’ for a school project years from now. Otters would like me to state that it was not their idea. I am not an official otter spokesperson. Or even an official spokesotter.

– There is no such thing as an official spokesotter.

  1. #2 sounds so plausible that I actually just wiki’d it. Do not be surprised if this starts showing up in “Ten Weird Facts About Animals” fluff pieces someday soon…

    Comment by elayne — 19 April, 2012 3:40 pm

  2. Two more facts:

    Otters are so called because, although consistently  voted as being among the top five coolest mammals (even with the hair gel), their body temperature can reach 100 degrees centigrade. In an emergency, such as broken kettle, they can be used  to boil enough water for a small cup of tea.

    Otters are not all that they are cracked up to be. Otter-cracking has been illegal in Britain since 1959.

    Comment by Mjb — 20 April, 2012 1:46 am

  3. The scientific name for the common otter (technically the Eurasian short-toed otter) is lutra lutra. It has a very satisfying sound, doesn’t it?

    I once went on a group holiday where we had a custom-written quiz, compiled by one member of the party, with a section entirely on otters. Hence my knowledge of the above. Those were the days.

    Comment by Jo — 20 April, 2012 2:38 am

  4. ‘Apparently’ tsch. The otter is the Gael equivalent of Gozilla. Here is my ‘The Black Beast’ proof: http://www.forestry.gov.uk/forestry/infd-867crw and if you click on the Gaelic page, BEHOLD! ‘A’ bhiast-dhubh’ Course, otters are brown, but if you are going to strike terror into the heart of a Gaelic speaker, ‘The Brown Beast’ does not cut any sort of condiment.

    Comment by La Lynne — 20 April, 2012 5:55 am

  5. You should always do unto otters as you would have them do unto you

    Comment by Dominic — 22 April, 2012 8:51 am

  6. And an otter thing…

    Otters like to sit on walls sipping tea from acorn cups. They will only do this in groups of 3.2, and even if an otter tenth arrives to make it 3.3, they will disperse so slowly and gradually that you will think you imagined the whole thing.

    This is an otter thing entirely, I’m sure you’ll agree.

    A. N. Otter.

    Comment by Beleaguered Squirrel — 22 April, 2012 11:34 am

  7. The first two bullet points made me laugh so hard I had to put my rum and Coke down for fear of spilling it. THAT is hard core funny.

    Comment by Dawn — 23 April, 2012 11:06 am

  8. Otters have only three legs – the apparent fourth leg is purely imaginary. If you plant the smallest seed of doubt in their minds they find it impossible to walk in a straight line and return to the water.

    Comment by mjb — 23 April, 2012 12:38 pm

  9. I was going to say something but, on the otter hand…

    Comment by guyana gyal — 23 April, 2012 1:23 pm

  10. In the 17th century the otter’s imaginary fourth leg was much sought after as a culinary delicacy as it was believed to have aphrodisiac properties. Owing to its non-existence, those lacking both libido and imagination often resorted to one of the many imitations that were available. These were fairly convincing and gave rise to the expression ” I can’t believe it’s not otter” although this could equally well refer to the fact that the delicacy was usually undercooked or be understood as a general comment about the weather.

    Comment by Mjb — 24 April, 2012 1:24 am

  11. This is just otter nonsence.

    Comment by Miss Nomer — 24 April, 2012 3:29 am

  12. Otter successfully attempting to look cool, having recently applied hair gel:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/m_j_b/4555619588/

    Comment by Mjb — 24 April, 2012 4:02 am

  13. Benedict Cumberbatch may or may not be an otter. http://redscharlach.tumblr.com/post/19565284869/otters-who-look-like-benedict-cumberbatch-a

    Comment by Nancy — 26 April, 2012 6:49 am

  14. And did you know that there are several otters that look like Benedict Cumberbatch?

    Comment by Miss Nomer — 27 April, 2012 2:05 am

  15. Drat, Nancy’s comment wasn’t showing when I left mine. Now I look like an otter fool.

    Comment by Miss Nomer — 27 April, 2012 3:12 am

  16. Wait… otters use hair gel? Ergo I live with an otter! Who does a superb job at masquerading as a male human. Only now I fully understand his fondness for all things fish. You should rename your blog “Annapedia, a trivia compendium for modern times”. So long and thanks for all… the otters! ;-)

    Comment by Hannah Joy Curious — 27 April, 2012 3:31 pm

  17. The leading brand of otter hair gel is called “Utterly Ottery”

    Comment by Mjb — 28 April, 2012 3:27 am

  18. I think I’ve found myself in an otter dimension.

    Comment by Sarah — 1 May, 2012 10:17 pm

  19. Mjb: “In the 17th century the otter’s imaginary fourth leg was much sought after as a culinary delicacy as it was believed to have aphrodisiac properties. Owing to its non-existence, those lacking both libido and imagination often resorted to one of the many imitations that were available. These were fairly convincing and gave rise to the expression”

    I see what you did there, and you otter be ashamed of yourself!

    (also, still laughing about the otter birth process, still not entirely convinced it’s not true.)

    Comment by elayne — 17 May, 2012 12:53 pm

  20. I take the little one I nanny to the aquarium in Seattle all the time specifically for the otters – there was a baby born in March. There are river AND sea otters there. They are all cute. The baby especially because she is extra fuzzy looking. They do not list any of these ‘facts’ and I have half a mind to send them a very scoldy type letter for their lack of information! I think if I mentioned this to those otters, they would vote you the first official spokesotter. You’re clearly qualified. xo

    Comment by Miss Devylish — 9 June, 2012 12:16 pm

  21. I’m not very good with otters. So I’d be even worse with otter jokes. I did really enjoy this though. Your mind seems very interesting.

    Comment by Afam — 23 June, 2012 12:04 am

  22. There is an episode of the fabulous Radio 4 airline based sitcom Cabin Pressure called Ottery St Mary. It stars the aforementioned Benedict Cummerbatch and includes a splendid converstaion about the number of otters it is possible to imagine. Alas, it has probably just dropped off the iPlayer, but probably can be found on daker corners of teh interwebs and will almost certainly pop up again on Radio 4 Extra in due course.

    Comment by TomJ — 28 June, 2012 1:22 am

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