Which Blue Planet II fish is your college?
A zoological take on the life of the lesser-spotted Cantab
Floating aimlessley through the unchartered seas of higher education, armed with reading lists seemingly as bottomless as an 11,000 meter deep ocean trench, Cantabs might readily see themselves as mere plankton in the choppy waters of academia.
There is, indeed, much in common between fish and Cambridge students: a blank, dead look behind the eyes, the persistent threat of sharks, and a life doomed to perpetual sogginess as a result of week upon week of tearful essay crises. Yet, in this case, the fish undoubtedly come out on top. Have you had your daily existence narrated on primetime evening television by David Attenborough with an original soundtrack by Hans Zimmer? Didn't think so – you're procrastinating on The Tab, and probably still have a cold from Freshers' Week.
But yet, you too may aspire to the dizzying heights of popularity attained by such fish on David Attenborough's wonderful, quasi-cinematic Blue Planet II ! Similarities abound! Read on, weary Cantabs, and discover your fishy alter egos.
The two fighting Asian Sheepshead Wrasses – Trinity and St John's
Obviously, these two are Trinity and John's – two big-headed colleges perenially at war with one another, embroiled in a centuries-old college rivalry over which of them has the most dickheads. It's a tough match. A male Asian Sheepshead Wrasse weighs up to 50 kilos. That's 50 kilos worth of solid ego.
Deep sea toad – Sidney Sussex
The deep sea toad is perhaps the laziest and greediest of David Attenborough's subjects, much like the spoiled Sidney residents who live right slap bang next to Mainsbury's. It sits at the bottom of the sea, with its belly firmly on the ocean floor, waiting for nearby bits of food to float by for it to snaffle up, like a Sainsbury's Basics custard cream, no unecessary energy expended.
Clownfish – King's
King's students are notorious for their insularity. They like to socialise solely amongst themselves and avoid all contact with members of other colleges (not #edgi enough, alas), preferring the cushy comfort of their safe anemone. Sweet but also low-key kind of rude.
Glowy cuttlefish – Fitzwilliam
Praised by our icon David for its 'trippy' colours (the words of the BBC, not mine, I hasten to add), the glowing cuttlefish is disarmingly reminiscent of the Fitz student at Turf or ArcSoc, underneath all the tastefully applied glitter. Nssst nsst nst.
Kelp – Gonville and Caius
Caius food is notoriously stomach-churning, much like this kelp. Nothing much else to say, really.
Bobbit worm – Girton
The bobbit worm struck fear into the hearts of the nation, as summed up by The Sun's nuanced and balanced take on the reaction: 'TERRIFIED BBC viewers claimed Blue Planet 2 was "scarier than any horror film" as it featured a terrifying carnivorous worm with jaws like daggers."'
The bobbit worm lives in the depths of the ocean, concealing itself under the sand in order to capture its prey, exploiting the element of surprise. The bobbit worm's strategy is much reminiscent of the technique used by Girton's admissions team to grab unsuspecting applicants from the pool, whisking them away, never to be seen again.
Fragment of decaying coral the adolescent dolphins like to play with – Peterhouse
Old, small, and ultimately forgettable. Main distinguishing feature is the persisting presence of the Adonis Society, but regrettably there are not many comparisons with a covert homoerotic club that can be made with reference to a marine ecosystem.
Red octopus – Pembroke
Pembroke is all too frequently embroiled in high-profile drama, never safe from the tentacles of the student press, given the sheer concentration of Tab writers in this college. Thank you, Pembroke, for being the dependable highlight of our weekly gossip column – we owe you so much.
Orange dotted tuskfish – Emmanuel/Christ's
Topping the Tompkin's Table year on year, Emmanuel and Christ's are known for their hardworking student cohorts, long library opening times, and pushy supervisors. The orange dotted tuskfish works day and night bashing his clam relentlessly against a small rock, which is coincidentally exactly how it feels to write an essay anytime after Week 3.
Sharks – Downing
Come on, it had to be. Too easy.
The dead whale carcass – Magdalene
Magdalene is utterly broke. It's run-down, and they can barely afford to turn the lights on at formal (they're candlelit, which they insist is for the sake of 'tradition', fooling nobody). Whilst this putrid whale carcass sinks slowly to the bottom of the sea, Magdalene drops further and further down the Tompkin's Table, where it will eventually fester at the bottom.
Catfish? – St Catz
Has there been a catfish on Blue Planet II yet? Idk, probably somewhere in the background. Nothing else really works because Catz is otherwise pretty unremarkable. Sad!
Flapjack Octopus – Corpus
Cute and small, with lovely warm orangey yellow tones. Corpus is one of the hidden treasures of Cambridge, lesser-known but nonetheless very endearing.
The dead coral reef – Churchill
Ugly and deeply depressing, Churchill's soulless campus gives us a terrible preview of the dystopian future, with everyone living there hoping to vacate the premises ASAP.
Turtles – Wolfson, Lucy Cav, Hughes Hall, Darwin etc
The mature colleges are tired of all the undergrad shit; they're getting on a bit, and just want to do their postgrads in peace without having to put up with the noise of Cindies-going freshers every Wednesday. They can hide away in their shells and continue being dull and boring from in there, until they pop out their eggs / really obscure and niche theses.
Shoal of indistinguishable herring – Selwyn, Clare, Tit Hall etc
Many condolences guys you're just really boring and nobody cares! Just keep swimming xx