Sunday, April 24, 2011

Sunday's Silly Sign (Photos) Plus: The Silly Wiki Stuff in Japan

On Easter Sunday we don't really get into the Easter Bunny, eggs hunts, chocolate mess and all that stuff over here in Okinawa. Some people go to church and wear Easter Bonnets, I guess.

 That'd be down around the big cities. I only know it's Easter from people online wishing me a happy one.

Anyway, I went back up in the northern mountains to see what I could find for today's blog and came across this sign warning you, if you don't watch your step, you might fall on your butt.


There are plenty of places along this trail where you could slip, trip, stumble or fall and plenty of these signs to warn you. The silly signs just didn't do the trick for me today.

I hiked all over the mountains and just couldn't find anything that cracked me up.


After getting out of the dark jungles and into some decent sunlight I came across a pond with these critters in it and figured, maybe, they were some kind of endangered species.

When a couple of them got real close to each other I got thinking, "Oh boy, we're gonna see some action".


But, all they did was check each other's packages, sniff, or whatever they do and went their separate ways.

When I got out of the woods and off the nature trail I went and asked this nature dude if he could give me the name of these critters I had on my camera. I was hoping they were some kind of endangered species and I wanted a scientific name so I wouldn't have to do so much research when I got home.

"Shirikenimori", he tells me and he helped me translate it from his Japanese wildlife book into English.

Together we came up with "Shi Ri Ken I Mori" and he made sure I wrote it down in proper English.

And he made sure I returned his pencil.  It almost went in my pocket.

Nice guy, he was. He even spoke a little English and was very helpful. 

But, he didn't have a scientific name for the critter. No problem, I Google stuff.

That lead me to plenty of sources but, my favorite source was Wikipedia Japan.  This just made my day because I hadn't had a good belly-laugh like this in awhile. So, I'll quote directly from the Wiki folks in Japan and post a link and hope they don't mind.  I want them to take full credit for this masterpiece:

"Shirikenimori (newt ass sword, sword蠑螈ass, Cynops Ensicauda ), the animal phylum Chordata Class Amphibia Caudata Salamandridae newt species are classified as urodele."

My guess is maybe they couldn't afford an educated translator so, they just grabbed somebody out of a bar.  Like they were in a hurry to finish their Wikipedia homework.
So, they found some homeless dude or a drunk sailor and asked, "What would you call this tail sticking out of this newt ?  It looks like a sword to us." 

So, the dude says, "Oh, call it a newt ass sword.  That's what I'd do."  So, that's what they did !

It's all RIGHT HERE.  You can call me old-fashioned.  I would have thought something like "sword tail" would have gotten the job done.  And it wouldn't have sounded so silly.  It did CRACK ME UP !

It turns out, the Cynops ensicauda (Shirikenimori) or, Sword-tail Newt, is an endangered species found in Okinawa, Japan.  I'll be heading back up that way to try and get some better photos, now that I know where they can be found.  I'll keep my eyes open for more silly signs while I'm on the highways.


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