Snacktime: Sharks And Aliens

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"Shark Tea" (Courtesy u/maxfarob)
"Shark Tea" (Courtesy u/maxfarob)

TL;DL (Too Long; Didn’t Listen)

SNACK ATTACK! I mean... SHARK ATTACK! I mean, BOTH. Another snack-sized episode for you, complete with shark attacks through water and walls, the story of a chilling shipwreck, and whatever the heck is happening in Area 51.

Links from this week's episode:

From Amory's snack:

The diver meets a shark

The shipwrecked surviving cook

The shocking shark comment

A Bostonian finding a mysterious fish

From Ben's snack:

Out of the loop area 51

The original Facebook event

The ask reddit thread on Area 51

r/teenager post on Area 51

article on Airforce's response to Area 51 excitement

Full Transcript:

This content was originally created for audio. The transcript has been edited from our original script for clarity. Heads up that some elements (i.e. music, sound effects, tone) are harder to translate to text. 

Ben Brock Johnson: Amory, I'm eating shark snacks. AKA I'm eating baby seals right now.

Amory Sivertson: You wouldn't. You wouldn't dare talking to me.

Ben: Yes I would.

Amory: No you wouldn’t.

Ben: Mmm. Delicious baby seals.

Amory: All right, what's your baby seal?

Ben: It's actually cherries.

Amory: We're having a mind meld right now because I also have baby seals, a.k.a. cherries, as my snack.

Ben: Ohhh, double cherries!

Amory: But I meant to take them out of the refrigerator sooner and now they're like, they're too cold to put my in my mouth.

Ben: Really? I love a chill cherry. I like to keep all my cherries chill.

Amory: Too cold. I don’t like it.

Ben: You don’t like it?

Amory: Nope, but here we are.

Ben: Just hold them in your hand. Hold those cherries in your hand and they'll warm up.

Amory: OK.

Ben: Amory.

Amory: Ben, this is a snack time. Obviously this is one of those things where we're not releasing a full episode, it's just a little snack to carry you over to the next week. And we're gonna have a little low-key discussion of some of our favorite Reddit stories. But I feel like this is also pretty summer themed.

Ben: Yeah. This week Endless Thread is feeling snacky about scary ocean stuff because it's summertime. Also "Shark Week" is coming up at the end of this month. "Shark Week," for those who don't know, is that block of television programming on the Discovery Channel about sharks. It is controversial for kind of pushing suspect science and helping to generate more fear about sharks, when I think a lot of people would advocate that we should not be hating on the shark so much. But "Shark Week," Amory, is apparently 21 years old. "Shark Week" can drink.

Amory: All right. Cheers. Well "Shark Week" will have a Bloody Mary. You're also going to explain some Area 51 stuff that kind of blew up I guess on Reddit this week, that I apparently missed entirely but now, confirmed source, am also all over Reddit like it's my job. Because it is my job.

Ben: Mine too. But OK, you have to go first. Sharks. Talk to me.

Amory: OK, my snack, I feel like it's legitimately quite terrifying for anyone out there who also has what's called thalassophobia, or a fear of the sea. There's a whole subreddit devoted to those of us with thalassophobia, and a few days ago there was a video posted there with the caption I think this might be the scariest underwater video I've seen so far.

Ben: I think I've seen this one.

Amory: Have you?

Ben: Yeah. This is the one it involves a spear gun.

Amory: OK. So I need you to describe what happens in this video.

Ben: So what happens in this video is like a diver is swimming along, “doot doo doo,” no big deal. And all of a sudden out of the deep blue shoots this shark straight for the face of the diver. And the diver just barely successfully sticks their spear gun into the mouth of the shark. It's not good.

Amory: No, but this is not actually my snack. My snack came from the first comment to this video.

Ben: Oh God.

Amory: Can you see that?

Ben: Yeah I just read it while you're talking.

Amory: The first comment says “go watch the one where the ship sank and the cook was still alive.”

Ben: Man, was the cook's name L.L. Cool J?

Amory: What is that supposed to mean?

Ben: You've clearly never seen Deep Blue [Sea]. It's fine.

Amory: Oh yes, I know what you're talking about! I have seen it, just a long time ago.

Ben: And L.L. Cool J is the cook.

Amory: Yeah and he dies. Sorry, spoiler.

Ben: Does he die?

Amory: I think he dies.

Ben: I think he survives.

(L.L. Cool J sound from Deep Blue Sea)

Amory: But anyways, the comment: they found him three days later on a body retrieval dive. So a little more information.

Ben: That doesn't sound good.

Amory: There's nothing good about most of it, I will say. This guy's name is Harrison Okene. So he was a chef for an oil company boat, and this boat capsized and sank back in May of 2013, off the coast of Nigeria.

Ben: OK

Amory: He was one of 12 people onboard. The others perish. He sees a few of them definitely gets sucked down into the water and they, you know, presumably drown. He stayed underwater in an air pocket, like he's under the boat and there's a little pocket of air that he has found for himself. He's under there for almost three days, just breathing that tiny amount of air. The boat sank a hundred feet under the water; so this is a very limited amount of air that he's breathing. It's pitch black. He doesn't have food. There was like a bottle of Coca-Cola floating around, and all he had was that bottle of Coca-Cola for those three days.

Ben: Great Coke advertisement right there.

Amory: He said the salt of the water started peeling away his skin and his tongue. And there's this quote that he told the press. He says, “I was very, very cold and it was black. I couldn't see anything but I could perceive the dead bodies of my crew were nearby. I could smell them. The fish came in and began eating the bodies. I could hear the sound. It was horror.” But, here's where it takes a turn. So there's a team of divers, they think they're just going on a body retrieval mission. They don't think anyone has survived. So I'm going to play you a bit of audio here from the rescue.

Ben: Oh god.

Amory: I know. Just listen.

(The rescuer mumbles over a mic while Amory narrates)

Amory: So this is the rescue team guiding one of his members through the rescue operation who's under the water. The rescue diver sees a hand. He sees a hand reach out into the water, not reach out, he thinks it's a corpse. He grabs the hand to pull the rest of the corpse out. And it's this guy Harrison and he is actually alive and no one can believe it. The diver is totally freaked out, not expecting him to be alive.

Diving team leader: What's your name? Harrison?

And you hear that, you hear that like squeaky helium voice sound there.

Ben: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Amory: So that's apparently just the way that divers voices sound because they're breathing in the helium oxygen mix.

(The diving team leader keeps talking to Harrison underwater and says "You're a survivor!")

Amory: So he's alive. But this story has so many things that I hate in it. The sea, a shipwreck, drowning, sea creatures feasting...

Ben: But he survives! He survives!

Amory: I know, but... claustrophobia, being trapped in the dark, slowly suffocating. It's a stressful journey back to the surface, for sure.

Ben: Now he gets to, he's like in the chill zone for the rest of his life, this dude.

Amory: He has said, he would never go back in the water again. I don't know if he stuck to that. This was six years ago. But he said, you know, he was praying and he said, God if you get me out of this I promise to never go back in the water ever again. I would do the same! I'm already ready to not go back in the water after hearing his story. I have one little thing to cheer you up too, which I also got from Reddit. We need it. This is a Boston-related comment to a random post from four years ago about those child safety electrical socket shields.

Ben: Oh yeah, I know all about those.

Amory: Yeah. Yes you do. So u/dougie28 comments on Reddit “My mother has a pretty thick Boston accent. When I was a little kid she warned me not to stick my fingers in outlets because of the shocks. Well I thought she was saying ‘sharks’ because those two words sound exactly the same coming out of her mouth. When I inevitably stuck my finger in there, anyways and received a mild little shock I thought I'd just been bitten by a little shark.”

Ben: Oh man.

Amory: "For a couple of years I was convinced there were little sharks in the walls waiting to bite my fingers."

Ben (sings) : Electric shark doot doot doot doot doot.

Ben and Amory (sing): Electric shark doot doot doot doot doot.

Ben: That's amazing.

Amory: Now as a reward we can play the Boston sunfish video — these two guys out on a boat in Boston Harbor, they come across something they have no idea what it is.

Ben: So good.

Amory: In true Boston form this is how they react.

Bostonian: It's a baby f---ing wheel. Holy s---, we are witnessing a baby f---ing wheel right here dude. Holy s---, that thing is big Jay. It looks hurt, that thing looks hurt Jay.

Ben: A baby wheel dude. It does not look like a wheel.

Amory: I still quote this video all the time.

Ben: It's so good.

Amory: Yeah. So for anyone who missed this, this came out four years ago. You have to we'll link to it on our website it's still just as funny as it was back then.

Ben: Such a good palate cleanser for the terrifying story of the guy stuck in an air pocket in the middle of the dark.

Amory: That's exactly why I did it.

Bostonian: We gotta call the aquarium or something dude.

Ben: Well played.

Amory: Thank you. All right let's take a little break and then when we come back you can tell me about your snack.

Bostonian: Holy shit, what the f--- is that? Oh man, Jay ,it's dead bro or something....


Amory: OK. You're going to explain this Area 51 stuff that I apparently completely missed this week right?

Ben: Right. I'm going to try to explain this was several Reddit posts and a Facebook event invite. So, the original source documents of our Internet era, of course. Let's start with the post to the out of the loop Sub-Reddit, a great resource for anyone feeling like a n00b right?

Amory: Yeah it references an event going on on September 20th at Area 51.

Ben: So, basically somebody posted this event invite to Facebook, which I will now open. The invite says, “September 20th, storm Area 51, they can't stop all of us.” The person who posted this, their name on Facebook is "shit posting cause I'm in shambles." So clearly this is a troll-ey type of person here. Yep. But over a million people have RSVP’d to actually do this. And 1.2 million people say they're interested. You know how Facebook does that thing where there's like these people are going, these people are interested in going.

Amory: Yeah — the commitment averse.

Ben: Yeah. So the origin was on Facebook and you know what do redditors love more than anything? Making fun of Facebook. So the result of all of this was a huge tidal wave of memes and conversations of all kinds on Reddit, people saying they were going to show up, saying what was going to happen when people showed up. There was an ask Reddit thread about this, asking people what their predictions were for what was going to happen when this all goes down on September 20th, and the top comment says “the army will be forced to set out an aid station with water and sunscreen because of course, no one brought nearly enough.” Because obviously this you know, Area 51, as we all know, is in the middle of the desert. The teens sub-reddit was talking a lot about this and making a lot of jokes. I thought this one was kind of interesting. “What if we raided Area 51 alien emoji, ?, alien emoji, ?,and used the extra terrestrial technology gun emoji, ?, to overthrow the government and set up a communist regime? Haha jk jk, awkward smile emoji,?, unless, flat mouth embarrassed emoji, flat mouth embarrassed emoji,??. And then under that it says "But guys, I can't come. My mom said no."

Amory: I can't tell if this is a total joke, a half joke — are they going or not?

Ben: Right they like we would prefer a communist regime, but yeah I don't think many people are gonna show up to this. But it is serious ,and the Air Force has now officially responded saying quote, “The U.S. military stands ready,” because this is a training facility, it's a military training facility and the Air Force basically said guys, maybe don't try to swarm a military base, that's not going to work out well for you. So it's you know, it's getting kind of serious. Can I tell you my favorite meme about all of this though?

Amory: Of course.

Ben: So my favorite post about this says, I was nervous about the Area 51 event at first, then I remembered the training we received. And it's just an image of his arcade game. This was one of those arcade games that like, it had plastic guns that you would like take out of a holster.

Amory: OK.

(Area 51 arcade game noises.)

Ben: And they had cords on them and you'd shoot stuff on the screen. It was like a split screen thing, you'd shoot stuff on the screen and then you would point away from the screen to reload. I don't know I just, as someone who put many, many dollars worth of quarters into that game, I appreciated that. But, but seriously, hotels are booked up for this 3 am storming of Area 51.

Amory: 3 a.m.?!

Ben: I know, I think it’s like, I'm not sure why they're trying to.

Amory: They're trying to get him in the middle of the night.

Ben: Yeah, So they'll be harder to stop these people swarming the base at 3 am. I feel like one way to avoid all of this would just be to give a live streamed tour of the base, like doesn't the Air Force have enough alien technology to just kind of like show everybody what's in there?

Amory: I don't think people would, at least at least I, if I were skeptical of this, I'm not inclined to believe that the live stream that they're showing me is actually of Area 51.

Ben: Oh, you're one of those moon landing was fake type of people is that what your’e saying?

Amory: Don’t do that, no.

Ben: Amory Sivertson is on the record saying the moon landing was fake.

Amory: You make that accusation on the fiftieth anniversary of that accomplishment, no less. No, I'm just saying for these people, that's not going to do it for them.

Ben: That's fair. But you know what? I don't think these people are going to get in. Let me just put it that way.

Amory: Okay well, whether you're in the desert looking for aliens, or in the water looking for sharks, stay safe out there everyone.

Ben: Also programming note, we are going to drop one more extra in the feed in the coming days. It is about our Get Motivated episode and our new year's resolutions.

Amory: Remember them? Yikes.

Ben: We'll also have a full episode on deck for you next Friday. Until then, I'm Ben Brock Johnson.

Amory: I'm Amory Siverston. Stay snacky, San Diego.

Ben (sings): Reddit shark doot doot doot doot doot doot.

Ben and Amory (sing): Reddit shark doot doot doot doot doot doot.

Thank you to u/maxfarob for letting us feature his piece "Shark Tea." Find more of his work on Instagram, @maxrobertsillustrations


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