Researchers are trying to come up with a collective noun to describe whale sharks, after an unprecedented "aggregation" of the fishes was recently discovered in Yucatan.
Everyone agrees "aggregation" is probably the most boring way possible to describe any group of animals. For instance: why call it an aggregation of ferrets when you can call it a business of ferrets and imagine a bunch of the little buggers done up in tiny suits and ties? See how much fun we're having?
Over on Deep Sea News, marine biologist Alistair Dove gives his top five ideas on what to call the massive animals, which can reach over 40 feet in length and weigh in at more than 20 tons:
- A stipple of whale sharks
- A spatter of whale sharks
- A maculation of whale sharks
- A gulp of whale sharks
- A polka of whale sharks
Technically speaking, says Dove, the collective noun for shark is "shiver." But a "shiver" of whale sharks? That just doesn't sound right. Our favorite suggestion so far: a "nom" of whale sharks. It was floated by one of DSN's commenter. Let's see if we can come up with something better.