About Me
I am a third year PhD student (my how time has flown...) working within the ATLAS Collaboration, which is one of the multi-purpose detectors installed at the Large Hadron Collider in CERN. I have completed a period of 18 monthes living and working out at CERN on a long-term attachement from my home institution (Royal Holloway, Univeristy of London). This tumblr is a platform from which I can try to educate and inform others interested in particle physics and wonderful science, as well as provide some insight into the workings of a PhD.

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Odori-don is a sushi dish with a dead octopus that dances when soy sauce is poured on it. 

oh mY GOD

Actually it’s not anything that interesting which makes me mad

The octopus has just had the top of its head lopped off seconds before being plopped on there, and so the twitching is the nervous system reacting to the hot soy sauce - it isn’t ‘fully dead’, if you want to look at it that way

which is

completely lame

and makes me sad.

Nah that’s not it. The explanation is far more interesting, so YAY! The octopus may be newly dead but the reason it twitches is because the salt in the soy-sauce, specifically the Na+ ions, trigger an action potential in the nerves. When there’s an increase in the concentration of Na+ ions above a certain level near the receptors, the nerve cell fires and will keep firing until the concentration is less than the trigger. This behaves like every other action potential and is sent down the nerve cell, which then triggers an action potential in the next nerve, all the way down the nerve fibre until it reaches the muscle and causes it to move. You can do the same with frogs legs. :3

Oh, really? I had read another explanation that the salt concentration wasn’t quite that high to cause the twitching. Either way the preparation still makes me sad - I like animals very dead when they hit someone’s plate.

…someone find me a roadkill’d frog with intact legs and a bottle of soy sauce.

Hmm… seems we have conflicting explanations! The one I gave is in the article here but everyone in the comments is discussing why it seems wrong and talks about what you said. It’s a really interesting discussion.

And I am also sad now. Yet I want to try it out. Conflicting emotions! I will keep an eye out for a frog.

That’s very interesting, especially the comments in the Scientific American article. I must say it looks more like the squid is still alive in that video/gifs. There’s a program I watched on BBC4 (and many times since) called Fish! A Japanese Obsession. During that they served a fish which had had the flesh sliced off and eaten raw as sashimi, but the fish was still alive and you could see it trying to breathe erratically. The speed of the squid leg reactions seem almost unreal to be just from nerves firing, unlike the frog legs ones on the Scientific American article. This video though, must be from the nerves firing, but the response does look similar to the gif.

(Reblogged from astronomnomy)


  1. rolledawaytoanoisyoblivion reblogged this from captainkivinosofsky and added:
    Thanks for the nightmares
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    poor octopusT-T