Of Chuk-Chuks and Jellyfish

Last Friday, half the whole Biodiversity lecture group went to Changi Beach to learn about the wildlife in Singapore. Initially I thought it’d be quite a boring trip. I mean, it’s… Changi Beach. What’s going to be so interesting about that?

Apparently, quite a lot. We started off by the coast of the “river” where all the kayaks and small boats usually are, and Uncle Jeffrey (otherwise known as our Teaching Assistant) started explaining about sublittoral, intralittoral and supralittoral zones and what they mean. Boring right? People then started asking about the stuff they were seeing around the place – the crabs, sea stars, etc. One of them came across a chuk-chuk shell, and in trying to describe what a chuk-chuk was, Uncle Jeffrey said that it was a shellfish that people ate at seafood restaurants. Eventually, we moved on to more interesting stuff. Like jellyfish!

Another TA passed us something soft, jiggly, and clear – like jelly (no, DUH). It was a jellyfish with most of its tentacles gone, and it was almost dying. So what did we do with it? Somehow, Uncle Jeffrey mentioned that that clear blob we were holding on to was edible since it was made up of mainly seawater. Then:-

Kah Chun: Why don’t you try eating it?
Uncle Jeffrey: I’ll eat it if you eat it.
Kah Chun: OK.
Uncle Jeffrey: (takes a huge bite out of the jellyfish carcass)
Everyone: ZOMG!!
Kah Chun: (takes a bite out of the jellyfish carcass)
Everyone: ZOMG!! Hmm…
Everyone: (takes small chunks of jellyfish carcass and eats them)

FOR REAL. WE ATE RAW JELLYFISH FROM THE SEA. For the record, yes, it was very salty.

After that, we went trawling the sea for little organisms! That was pretty fun. Basically, we dragged a net across the sea bed, and then checked to see what we caught. We ended up catching a prawn, some pipefish, more jellyfish carcasses (one of them was still alive I think @_@), a couple crabs, and a sea squirt, which apparently isn’t a very common find! 😀

After the field trip, most of our bench members went to Changi Village for dinner! We ordered chuk-chuk, which amused me to no end. It didn’t really have a flavour other than the sauce it was cooked in; I think people eat them just for the fun of sucking out the meaty parts from inside the shell, and making the chuk-chuk sounds! Some parts were green in colour – a bit off-putting. And I don’t think any of us are going to forget the word operculum any time soon! Almost every chuk-chuk still had the operculum intact! 🙂

Chuk-Chuk Shells

1 Response to “Of Chuk-Chuks and Jellyfish”

  1. December 16, 2011 at 2:03 am

    This may be your best blog post I have ever seen…

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