Hypnotizing Crayfish & Elephants #4



By Atom Bergstrom

Atom’s Blog

Lewis R. Wolberg, M.D. (Medical Hypnosis, 1948) wrote …

“It is known that birds, frogs, alligators, crayfish, opossums, rabbits, guinea pigs, and some insects enter a state resembling hypnosis when subjected to certain stimuli. Thus alligators, frogs, and toads when turned over on their backs and stroked rhythmically on their undersides lose their muscle tonus and become unconscious. Other animals when placed in strange or unaccustomed positions develop catalepsy. During the mating season, female spiders become limp and nonresistant when males imbed their jaws into a sensitive spot in the abdomen. In many animals, these trancelike conditions are produced by fear and appear to be a mechanism of simulated death which serves a defensive purpose. [Max] Verworn has demonstrated that such reactions are tonic recumbency reflexes. Ablation of the cerebrum apparently does not destroy the reaction, and Spiegel and Goldblom believe that the red nucleus is the governing center for these responses.”


Edward Backhouse Eastwick (Dry Leaves from Young Egypt: Being a Glance at Sindh before the Arrival of Sir Charles Napier, 1849) wrote …

“One of my first expeditions after reaching Carachi was a visit to the Magar Talao, as it is called, or Lake of Alligators. This curious place is about eight miles from Carachi, and is well worth inspecting to all who are fond of the monstrous and grotesque. A moderate ride through a sandy and sterile track varied with a few patches of jungle, brings one to a grove of tamarind trees, hid in the bosom of which lie the grisly brood of monsters. Little would one ignorant of the locale suspect that under that green wood in that tiny pool, which an active leaper could half spring across, such hideous denizens are concealed. ‘Here is the pool,’ I said to my guide rather contemptuously, ‘but where are the alligators?’ At the same time I was stalking on very boldly with head erect, and rather inclined to flout the whole affair, naso adunco. A sudden hoarse roar or bark, however, under my very feet, made me execute a pirouette in the air with extraordinary adroitness, and perhaps with more animation than grace. I had almost stepped on a young crocodilian imp about three feet long, whose bite, small as he was, would have been the reverse of pleasant. Presently the genius of the place made his appearance in the shape of a wizard-looking old Fakir, who, on my presenting him with a couple of rupees, produced his wand — in other words, a long pole, and then proceeded to ‘call up his spirits.’ On his shouting ‘Ao! Ao!’ ‘Come! Come!’ two or three times, the water suddenly became alive with monsters. At least three score huge alligators, some of them fifteen feet in length, made their appearance, and came thronging to the shore. The whole scene reminded me of fairy tales. The solitary wood, the pool with its strange inmates, the Fakir’s lonely hut on the hill side, the Fakir himself, tall, swart, and gaunt, the robber-looking Biluchi by my side, made up a fantastic picture. Strange, too, the control our showman displayed over his ‘Lions.’ On his motioning with the pole they stopped (indeed, they had already arrived at a disagreeable propinquity), and, on his calling out ‘Baitho,’ ‘Sit down,’ they lay flat on their stomachs, grinning horrible obedience with their open and expectant jaws. Some large pieces of flesh were thrown to them, to get which they struggled, writhed, and fought, and tore the flesh into shreds and gobbets. I was amused with the respect the smaller ones shewed to their overgrown seniors. One fellow, about ten feet long, was walking up to the feeding ground from the water, when he caught a glimpse of another much larger just behind him. It was odd to see the frightened look with which he sidled out of the way evidently expecting to lose a yard of his tail before he could effect his retreat. At a short distance (perhaps half a mile) from the first pool, I was shewn another, in which the water was as warm as one could bear it for complete immersion, yet even here I saw some small alligators. The Fakirs told me these brutes were very numerous in the river about fifteen or twenty miles to the west. The monarch of the place, an enormous alligator, to which the Fakir had given the name of ‘Mor Saheb,’ ‘My Lord Mor,’ never obeyed the call to come out. As I walked round the pool I was shewn where he lay, with his head above water, immoveable as a log, and for which I should have mistaken him but for his small savage eyes, which glittered so that they seemed to emit sparks. He was, the Fakir said, very fierce and dangerous, and at least twenty feet in length.”

(To Be Continued)

'Hypnotizing Crayfish & Elephants #4' has 1 comment

  1. June 9, 2019 @ 1:31 pm Atom

    True El Paso Story …

    She: “My broken ankles won’t heal. It’s been months now.”

    Me: “Let me ask you a strange question. When you think of the pain and anguish, what color comes to your mind?”

    She: “Two colors. Black and gray.”

    Me: “Are both of your parents involved in this somehow?”

    She (sobbing): “They both were killed in an auto accident just before this happened.”

    Her ankles were MUCH BETTER the following day.



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