Fish poem

The zebra danios are in Brownian motion, roiling like electrons, madly dashing after one another through open water and into the mass of triffids through little courses only danios know and then out again in a silver blur. It’s like they never stop but they do and when the tank is dark they lie suspended and still in piscine sleep. Do they dream? Who the fuck knows? They’re so small.

3 thoughts on “Fish poem

  1. I know you were not asking for a serious discussion of this issue, but what I have seen suggests that mammals and birds dream, but not non-homeotherms. So, my best guess is that fish do not dream.

    But they suffer. My best guess, which isn’t very good, is that all vertebrates suffer, and that cephalopods and other “advanced” (an appropriate word to use when it comes to living things, since evolution has made all organisms as “advanced” as any others, but you know what I mean) invertebrates suffer.

    And I’ll leave it at that, as I do not wish to get into a debate about animal rights.


    • Love this comment. I’ve seen reference to dreaming in reptiles but never seen reference to the studies. Fish thus far appear dreamless. Incidentally, our tank has a lot of lush vegetation which provides a lot of places for fish to slip off into when the light is out. And it’s amazed me to see just how long it takes for most of them to wake up. Aside from the Danios most of the rest seem groggy and take up to a half hour to get themselves moving much again, and an hour or more to become fully active. I guess it’s because of the security and lack of predators or any aggressive species. Even as the food flakes Come down like snow they swim slowly and lazily. They may not dream, but they certainly get into a state of low metabolism.


  2. I think that fish may exist in a perpetual dream state. They may wake up when feeling fear, but probably not. Dreams of evolution, feet and nostrils. Rising up from deep watery sub-caverns through the soil to be reborn, gaining legs and necks, to suddenly run in the sun, avoiding whole new predators.


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