h a l f b a k e r y
Not so much a thought experiment as a single neuron misfire.
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According to a WWF advert on Classic FM, "Elephants are
disappearing at an alarming rate".
Now, we have observed actual live elephants in a number of
settings, and we consider that - without the aid of a professional
magician - the disappearance of an elephant, even a calf, would be
difficult to engineer. Elephants are quite big compared to
many other terrestrial life-forms on your planet. Providing a
human has at least some level of visual function, not seeing an
elephant at distances under 50 metres in average daytime
conditions presents considerable
problems, mostly related to the fact that they are bloody huge,
messy noisy things that amble round in herds, eating everything
We conclude that this phenomenon is therefore likely to occur at
night. Elephants have a greyish, non-reflective outer surface, and
in the absence of artificial illumination are no doubt quite
to spot with the unassisted human eye at anything more than
short range*. Impromptu experimentation using a cow and ten
litres of grey emulsion paint produced convincing evidence of
visibility limitations, a very puzzled cow, and an inexplicably angry
and unreasonably aggressive farmer (who was far from difficut to
spot, and could run alarmingly fast).
The logical conclusion is that it is necessary to provide elephants
with high visibility garments.
This would take the form of a robust, durable cover manufactured
in an appropriate yellow or orange material, with an appliqué of
ScotchBrite reflective banding. In addition, a photovoltaic panel
could collect energy during the day, which could be employed to
power LED strobes after dark.
Adult elephants have no natural predators, and their foodstuff is
vegetable, meaning that even if a plant spots an approaching
hungry elephant, it is poorly equipped to take any sort of evasive
And thus the disappearance of elephants will cease.
Hi-Vis for Elephants. You know it makes sense.
*However, the unassisted human nose can detect the presence of
an elephant at quite long distances. Unfortunately.
Simply invoke drugged Disney character technology... [RayfordSteele, Dec 04 2017]
||Wouldn't this make them even easier to exterminate by pervert Trump Scum trophy hunters, thus accelerating their demise?
||Surely Trump Scum trophy hunters would be out looking for
Trump Scum? Do try to keep up, mon amie.
||Trophy hunters can afford to have image intensifier sights on their weapons. Thus, the presence or absence of hi-vis is irrellevant.
||Besides, why bother to hunt at night ? Elephants aren't nocturnal. Just get your guide to drive your air-conditioned 4x4 to a convenient spot in daylight, and take your shot.
||However, it's best to check beforehand, as not all zoos have a clear line of sight from the car park to the elephant enclosure. Safari parks are much superior from this point of view, as not only is it possible to observe elephants in something more representative of their natural environment, but it's possible to get much, much closer, thus ensuring a one-shot-one-kill scenario.
||No-one likes to waste ammunition.
||Err...illuminated elephants exist...I have seen them in Petchaburi, not to mention "...enforce some of Bangkok' archaic laws, such as the one requiring elephants working at construction projects inside Bangkok's city limits at night to have a red tail light affixed to their swishing tails." George H. Stollwerck
||Fair enough. We did not say that illuminated elephants do not
||The idea is intended to address, in a systematic way, the stated
problem of disappearing elephants. As a proof-of-concept, the
illuminated elephants to which you refer merely underline the
importance, practicallity and excellence of our scheme.
||Elmer the elephant - hes lovely and stripey
||I think you'll find that elmering an elephant is illegal in most countries, as is muffin the mule.
||// a special room for the elephant //
||It's called the european parliament, and it does indeed stink like
it's had a family of incontinent elephants living in there for the
last five decades.