Bluebottles: a debate  // Editorial
23 October 2015

By: Andrew Cassidy
Location: The Australian Coast

The Physalia utriculus or Australian bluebottle

DEBATE CHAIRPERSON: Good evening ladies and gentlemen. I welcome you to the third round of the East Coast debating competition. Each speaker may speak for five minutes. There will be a warning bell at four minutes with two bells at five minutes to indicate that the speakersí time has expired. As a courtesy to the speakers, please ensure that all mobile phones are switched off. The topic for this eveningís debate is: Bluebottles are good for nothing. I would now like to introduce the first speaker from the affirmative team.

FIRST AFFIRMATIVE SPEAKER: Thank you Mr Chairman and good evening honourable judges, respected opposition, ladies and gentlemen of the audience.

I would like to begin by acknowledging that bluebottles or Physalia utriculus serve absolutely no purpose in the aquatic ecosystem what-so-ever. They are a menace to society inflicting painful and sometimes deadly stings to all organisms they happen to bump into, including humans. Approximately 10,000 Australians are stung by these pathetic creatures each summer, leaving swollen red welts on the skin and pain that can last for days. Very hot water applied to the affected area will ease the pain somewhat but this is generally not readily available on the beach or very practical if the sting is on the face or another sensitive area of the body. Small children can be traumatised by these attacks and could potentially be terrified of going to the beach for years after a dramatic sting.

Bluebottles sting, kill and eat innocent small fish and plankton but only one type of turtle (the loggerhead) can eat a bluebottle because it has skin thick enough that the stings canít penetrate. Thereís plenty of other stuff in the ocean the loggerhead can eat.

Without any means of self propulsion, bluebottles merely rely on the wind to blow them to wherever they end up - further emphasising the fact that they have no purpose in life and donít care where they go or what happens to them.

What a stupid organism. Bluebottles are good for nothing. Thank you.

FIRST NEGATIVE SPEAKER: Ummmmm Ö [long pause] Ö I got nothiní.

DEBATE CHAIRPERSON: Oh, OK, I guess thatís it then.

What you donít want to find on shoreline just before a paddle

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