Friday, February 15, 2008

Kevin Contemplates the Diet of the Little Mermaid

Following David's intrepid exposé of Harry Potter, one can't help but wonder what questions remain unanswered from the movies our beloved childhood. Should Aladdin go to jail for stealing bread? Is Winnie the Pooh's honey addiction merely a stepping stone to black tar heroin? All the signs point to yes. But one question has dogged me until this day.

What did the Mermen eat in the Little Mermaid?

What a hottie

Looking at Ariel’s heroin-chic physique one might guess a subsistence of cigarettes and self-loathing but of course we all know you can’t smoke under the sea. The next thing that comes to mind is the wide assortment of aquatic plants at their disposal. So are the Mermen a bunch of kelp-hugging vegetarians? You might think so but looking at King Triton that simply can’t be true. Without the necessary high protein diet, a person simply cannot maintain such a physique without the help of BALCO.

Ladies, got your tickets to the gun show?

Thus, Triton must eat meat. While the film features a wide array of oceanic fauna, most of them appear sentient. Can you sink your knife into Flounder or toss Sebastian into the steamer? I didn’t think so. Finally we come to krill. While technically an animal, this tiny Sebastian is far too small to be capable of sentient thought much less performing spontaneous yet surprisingly well-coordinated musical numbers. Looks like we have a winner (or loser if you’re the krill.)

Common fare at any seafood restaurant

To find out how much of these tiny critters Triton must wolf down on a daily basis, I did a little digging into the daily diet of Blue Whales. According to one article, a single Blue Whale eats roughly 40 million krill per day (about 7715 lbs) to satiate a recommended 1.5 million calorie a day diet. With these figures, I surmise there’s about 0.00357 Cal/krill and each krill weight approximately 0.000192 lbs. Then assuming Triton maintains a 2000 Cal/day diet (pretty low given his body size), he would need to eat 10.28lbs of krill per day. A pretty ludicrous amount given that a single human being eats less than half of that (4.7 lbs). But I guess it’s not outside the realm of possibility.


Anonymous said...

...You must have a lot of free time.

Anonymous said...

I love this article and I think Ariel loves it, too. Very funny!

Anonymous said...

Maybe he doesn't eat just krill.
Maybe he eats 1 gram of krill for every pound of bodyweight to fulfill his protein needs and he gets the rest of his calories from underwater vegetables.

Anonymous said...

yoou said nothiing about herion for one thiing&i aggreee with the last cmmnt you must have a A LOT of free time;

yr jusst as much of a loser as the krill[: