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Molly Cule
59704.  Tue Mar 14, 2006 10:11 am Reply with quote

There is already a good thread on QI talk for Devon, but here beginneth the one for elves.

How could you use a puffin to buy a loaf of bread?

Using puffin coinage in the shop on Lundy Island in the Bristol Channel.

Lundy island is full of puffins, Lundy comes from the Norse 'lundy' meaning Puffin.

In 1925 Martin Coles Harman bought Lundy island and issued two coins, the Half Puffin and the One Puffin which were used as local currency. The value was the same as a Halfpenny and Penny. (Harman got in trouble for his coinage and was fined £5 after a trial.)

The reason Harman minted the coins is, the GPO stopped running an office on Lundy in 1927. Harman dealt with all the post for free. He decided to cover his costs by issuing stamps with a value expressed in Puffins – half puffin pink and 1 puffin blue. The stamps had to be put on the back of the envelope so the British post office would deal with them. Lundy puffin stamps are still being made I think, well the last ones I can see were in 2004.

The number of puffins on the island has rapidly declined because of rats, and fishing for sand eels, which puffins live on.

Puffins sound like a mooing cow/a chainsaw, depending upon what appeals more to your imagination. Could be fun to have a 'What is this noise?' question.

The Lundy cabbage is a plant which grows on Lundy and nowhere else in the world. It looks a bit like rape, is 1m tall with a yellow flower. It tastes horrible and has been described as ‘triple essence brussel sprout’.

Two other things which only exist in Lundy are the Lundy cabbage flea beetle and the Lundy cabbage weevil.

A hundred metre square makes up the total amount of Lundy cabbage in the world, so Lundy has its own 100 square metre ecosystem.

Lundy island is made mostly of granite. It was used to build London, the Victoria Embankment was built from Lundy granite.

Lundy island is not an island, EU says islands have more than 50 permanent residents and Lundy island only has 18. (This is Johns fact from the Devon talk thread)

It is in the Bristol Channel and part of Devon.

2005 opinion poll run by Radio Times was 10th greatest natural wonder in Britain.

1. Dan yr Ogof
2. Cheddar Gorge
3. White Cliffs of Dover
4. Giant's Causeway
5. Jurassic Coast
6. Loch Lomond
7. Cwm Idwal
8. The Island of Staffa
9. St Kilda
10. Lundy Island

 
Frederick The Monk
60075.  Wed Mar 15, 2006 12:46 pm Reply with quote

The mediaeval rent on the Isles of Scilly (payable by the Lord of the Isle to the Crown) was in puffins - real ones.

 
Molly Cule
60118.  Wed Mar 15, 2006 3:51 pm Reply with quote

Excellent.

Puffins taste like salty fish, like anchovies or caviar. They used to be served fresh with potatoes or pickled in wine and spices. Like beavers and fish they are suitable for catholics to eat during Lent.

 
Molly Cule
60119.  Wed Mar 15, 2006 3:52 pm Reply with quote

Puffins feed their young by regurgitation. They hunt fish at sea during the day and return at night to vomit their findings into their little puffins throats.. the fish they have eaten has by then turned to oil.

 
Molly Cule
60122.  Wed Mar 15, 2006 4:06 pm Reply with quote

There were plenty of Puffins on the Calf of Man, an islet off the Isle of Man. Puffins were a lucrative source of income.

s - Ornithology, Ray.

A rumour spread about that Puffins were one footed on the Calf of Man.. this was because the islanders used to cut off one foot off of each Puffin they caught to sell, the going rate for a Puffin foot was 9pence/dozen.


Why are there no sheep on the Calf of Man?


Could work as rather a surreal question.. assuming the Calf of Man isnt too well known a place.

I asked the old man, why they had no sheep upon the island, as the pasturage seemed admirably adapted for that valuable, profitable stock. He answered, that sheep were so handy to carry off, and had been so frequently stolen by sea-faring plunderers, that it was thought advisable to pasture the island with young stock of the cow-kind; of which I saw several grazing about.'

 
Molly Cule
60123.  Wed Mar 15, 2006 4:10 pm Reply with quote

A man went to court to resolve a Puffin related matter; he was no longer getting 500 Calf of Man Puffins as promised to his grandfather and was not happy.

8th June 1704.-The Case of John Stevenson, of Balladoole, in relation to his Claim of Five hundred Puffins yearly out of the Calf of Man.
His statment is a the bottom of this webpage.. if you are interested..
s - http://www.isle-of-man.com/manxnotebook/fulltext/bd1905/p259.htm

 
Molly Cule
60124.  Wed Mar 15, 2006 4:35 pm Reply with quote

All of the above was actually about a completely different bird called the Manx Shearwater (Puffinus Puffinus) which is not, as its name suggests, a Puffin. Nor is it related to a Puffin.

 
Gray
60130.  Wed Mar 15, 2006 5:48 pm Reply with quote

I think there's your question right there!

 
Frederick The Monk
60133.  Wed Mar 15, 2006 6:02 pm Reply with quote

As long as Rory isn't on the panel.

 
MatC
60169.  Thu Mar 16, 2006 5:32 am Reply with quote

Molly Cule wrote:
All of the above was actually about a completely different bird called the Manx Shearwater (Puffinus Puffinus) which is not, as its name suggests, a Puffin. Nor is it related to a Puffin.


Q: Why is Puffinus Puffinus a doubly stupid name?

 
Flash
60182.  Thu Mar 16, 2006 6:08 am Reply with quote

Quote:
A Manx Shearwater breeding on Copeland Island, Northern Ireland, is currently (2003/2004) the oldest known wild bird in the world: ringed as an adult (at least 5 years old) in July 1953, it was retrapped in July 2003, at least 55 years old. Manx Shearwaters migrate over 10,000 km to South America in winter, using waters off southern Brazil and Argentina, so this bird has covered a minimum of 1,000,000 km on migration alone.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shearwaters

 
Flash
60184.  Thu Mar 16, 2006 6:13 am Reply with quote

Puffins are auks, and are distinct in their ability to carry several fish at once - 12 or more - crosswise in their bills.

Auks superficially resemble penguins but are quite different; apart from anything else, they can fly.

 
Flash
60186.  Thu Mar 16, 2006 6:17 am Reply with quote

So auks can walk on land, fly in the air (not all that well, but they can) and swim underwater (they dive deep and use their wings to steer). How many species can do that treble, do we think?

More to the point, how many can do the treble whilst carrying 12 fishes?

 
eggshaped
60188.  Thu Mar 16, 2006 6:24 am Reply with quote

On the topic of birds, I was shocked the other day to find out that doves and pigeons are one in the same!?

...Just me then?

 
Flash
60191.  Thu Mar 16, 2006 6:32 am Reply with quote

Yes, the buggers are interbreeding in my shed.

I think there's some conflation we can use, in that doves begin with D, and pigeons win most Dicken medals, so pigeons of any stripe (such as the QI Passenger Pigeon) would be fair game.

We could also use them on the show, ho ho.

Plus, of course, dodos were pigeons. I don't see it myself, but that's what they say.

 

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