Nature’s great conflicts. The lion, bearing a bloodied baby giraffe to the ground. The crocodile, lurching out of muddy waters to trap a zebra in its jaws. And while not all these events are accessible to the amateur video-maker, there’s one terrfiying predator who’s all over YouTube. Step forward – however it is that they do that – the starfish.
Scallop vs. Sea Star The tension is unbearable. Well it would be if the soundtrack weren’t stuffed with chatter and giggling. Still, GAWP as the starfish rests its sinister arm on the scallop’s lid. TREMBLE as it slowly pulls open the shell a bit. GASP as the scallop slams shut. Yes I know. Bear with me. 1/5
Freaking a scallop with a starfish Ooh, actual natural habitat footage. Clumsily staged natural habitat footage, but still. A fat-looking starfish is placed atop a weary scallop. The starfish doesn’t seem bothered – maybe it had already eaten – but the scallop senses the danger, giving us the first glimpse of one of their daring escapes. It’s over in an eyeblink. The international divers’ sign-language for ‘OK’ that we see at the end really does just mean ‘OK’. 2/5
Scallop Escape First off, Scallop Escape needs to be a Saturday teatime BBC gameshow at the earliest opportunity. It’s the Don’t Scare The Hare slot I’ve got my eye on. This video already has a whiff of Saturday night telly about it, with its overbearing blast of O Fortuna, while that friendly little shrimp that keeps bobbing up would make a great sassy puppet sidekick to, say, Liza Tarbuck. Anyway, the clip itself is great; snappily edited with a sense of flair and menace. The dramatic rebuffs of the scallop! The slump of the starfish! The explosive pockets of cloudy mud! It’s a winner. 5/10
Scallop / Kammussla So peaceful, this one. And so short. A vividly coloured scallop isn’t taking any shit at all and gets straight out of the way, grinning all over its shell as it claps away to freedom. Sure, the embrace of the starfish looks friendly, but a savvy mollusc knows it leads to your new friend ejecting their own stomach, forcing it into your little gap and digesting you with its horrible juices before it’s even eaten you. Never trust anyone whose mouth is adjacent to their anus. 4/5
Starfish VS. Scallop The indignity. This clip opens with a lengthy section in which the mighty predator is held helplessly in someone’s hand outside the water, the modesty of its naked body protected only by a few small pebbles. Then after a short, uninformative Q & A it’s back into the tank for a bit of scallop-scaring. This mollusc’s escape is the most pleasing yet, as it lurches defiantly from side to side before galloping off. But what have we learned from all this? Who are we supposed to identify with? The plucky scallop, off like the clappers at the first sign of trouble? The rapacious starfish, who seems always to have the excuse that someone else made him do it? Or the human hands, goading these gentle creatures into early deaths? My sympathies are firmly with the scallops. Remind me of that next time I eat one. 3/5