Odd News Show

Turns Out Scallops Are the Club Kids of the Ocean

Scientists in the UK discovered that if you have the bright lights, the scallops will come. Velvet ropes and bouncers can’t be far behind.

By Jason Salmon · March 13, 2024

Shocker: Marine life with glow-in-the-dark neckwear is down to rave Florida Fish and Wildlife/Flickr

Scientists in the UK may have stumbled on the single greatest discovery of marine fishery since dudes were walking on water. Turns out, scallops like to party. For years fishing for ocean creatures was based on the antiquated belief that the quickest way to a creature’s heart was through its stomach. If you wanted to catch a marine animal, you simply lured it with a smaller marine animal. But that was a different time. This is a whole new generation of scallop.

When Dr. Rob Enever and his team at Fishtek Marine bait their traps, they eschew the old school use of food, and instead try to cater to a new millennium of sea creature with a need to get down and get groovy - remembering of course, that marine party lifestyles are usually several decades behind those on dry land. Enever and his team designed a disco club style lighting system called potlights to attract his catch because, just like most business models in the 70s, he figured anything involving pot and a light show was worth a shot. And just like the disco era lighting systems he modeled, his expectation was to at least catch crabs.

“It’s like a scallop disco – illuminate the trap and they come in.”
- Rob Enever

As it turns out, catching crabs was far more elusive than in that original disco era, but to Enever’s pleasant surprise, scallops were the ones looking for a good time. Just like any great club hookup story though, Enever couldn’t trust that he hadn’t just gotten lucky. So he tried it again. More potlights - different locations, same results. He was becoming the Studio 54 of the Seas.

To us this is a regular fisherman. To scallops, it's a party promoter  Florida Sea Grant/Flickr

Enever and Dr. Bryce Stewart, who co-authored a paper on the experiment, don’t yet have an explanation for the phenomenon of the partying scallops beyond the fact that their eyes have mirrors instead of lenses and maybe they can see things more distinctly than other marine life. Yeah. These scallops are a new generation, with mirrors for eyes, and they’re all about having fun. Scallops may just be the disco ball of the ocean.