A group called Ocean Alliance wants to send drones out to collect snot from whales, and they’ve got a former captain of the USS Enterprise on-board.
Sir Patrick Stewart donned his best comedy chaps for a video to promote Ocean Alliance’s Kickstarter project – Snotbots.
Here’s what a Snotbot is:
(Snotbots) hover in the air above a surfacing whale and collect the blow (or snot) exhaled from its lungs. Snotbot then returns that sample back to researchers a significant distance away.
Why? Because lung lining samples hold crucial information about whale health. Normally, data samples are “removed chasing an extremely acoustically sensitive mammal with a loud motorboat and subsequently shooting it with a sampling dart from a crossbow”.
Why hassle a whale when you can just wait for it to sneeze?
The promo video does its best to show just how annoying that might be for a whale by subjecting Sir Patrick to the same kind of annoyances. (Also, there’s this great bit where Sir Patrick checks his tissue:)
The Kickstarter rewards range from t-shirts and hoodies to a vinyl LP of humpback whale sounds, to spending a full day with researchers, hopefully driving a snot-gathering drone.
With 22 days to go, it’s about 10 per cent on its way to a goal of $225,000.
There’s more on the campaign here, but first, watch Sir Patrick help make it so: