585: Outreach

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Completely implausible? Yes. Nevertheless, worth keeping a can of shark repellent next to the bed.
Title text: Completely implausible? Yes. Nevertheless, worth keeping a can of shark repellent next to the bed.

[edit] Explanation

Scientific animal tracking is commonly used to learn more about other species, particularly endangered ones, as a way of better understanding their physiology, behavior, and what risks they face in the wild. It's used in a wide variety of sciences, including wildlife biology, conservation, wildlife management and zoology.

The scientists in this comic are working on a rather limited budget as Ponytail explains, and can't afford the cost of hiring someone to retrieve a tracking tag from the water. So they create one that will pop free, float to the surface, and inflate a giant helium balloon, causing it to gradually drift over land. Eventually the balloon will slowly deflate, soft-land, and with any luck someone will find it and mail it back to the scientists.

But it goes horribly, hilariously wrong. The tag can't quite pop free from the shark, and proceeds to inflate the balloon while the shark is still attached. The shark rises right along with the tracker tag, drifts back over land, and goes right after the scientists that had been tracking it.

The young girl, seeing two scientists running frantically from a flying shark, no doubt has never seen anything more awesome in her whole life, and figures that if such excitement is a daily part of a scientist's job, that's the job for her, as she tells her daddy Cueball.

The title of the comic, Outreach, refers to the type of activities that scientists do in order to motivate kids to become scientists when they grow up.

The title text suggests keeping shark repellent by one's bed to account for the quite-unlikely event of something like this happening. Because you never know. It may be a reference to the Adam West Batman film where Batman just happened to have some.

Though as sharks are fish, and fish cannot survive above water, the shark would die if this happened in real life.

[edit] Transcript

[Ponytail faces two Cueball-like guys. All three are wearing goggles and lab-coats. Between them on a shelve stands a microscope and a beaker.]
Ponytail: The tracking tag will record the shark's movement and habits.
[The capsule is shown to float upward towards a water surface.]
Ponytail (narrating): Then, it will pop free and float to the surface.
[A coast is shown, with arrows directed from water to land. A small white circle on one of the arrows indicate the balloon.]
Ponytail (narrating): We can't afford a recovery program, so the capsules will inflate helium balloons, drift over land,
[The capsule is shown in close up. It has a caption on it.]
Ponytail (narrating): And hopefully be found and mailed to us. Any questions?
Caption: If found please call
[Ponytail is standing over a groggy shark on a boat, with water behind her and a coastline in the background. She attaches the tracking tag to the shark.]
[The shark is dropped headfirst off the boat, into the water with a large splash.]
Shark: !!!
[The course of the shark is shown, weaving around islands.]
[The capsule is shown sticking out of the shark at the moment it is ready to pop free.]
[The capsule remains attached to the shark.]
[The balloon starts to inflate, still attached to the shark and underwater.]
[As the balloon inflates, it starts to pull the shark to the surface.]
Shark: ??
[The balloon breaks the surface, pulling the shark with it.]
[A girl with a black ponytail, earing an icecream is standing together with Cueball to the right in an otherwise empty frame.]
[Two screaming scientists (A Cuball-like guy and Ponytail) runs past the two, who turns to look after them. The guy is holding the microscope and Ponytail the beaker from the first frame.]
Scientists: Aaaaaaaa
[A shark attached to a huge balloon floats past the girl and Cueball, it follows the scientists while snapping it's jaws.]
Shark: Chomp chomp
[After the shark is gone, the girl turns to Cueball.]
Girl: Daddy?
Cueball: Yes?
Child: I want to be a scientist.

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Did SyFy just steal this idea when they produced "Sharknado"? 21:16, 11 July 2013 (UTC)
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