Our thanks to our subscribers for supporting The Lifted Brow.
‘Toward a Taxonomy of the Plasticae: Meeting The Holotypic Occlupanid Research Group’, by Rhianna Boyle
In the murky backwaters of the internet, it’s possible to discover a gem. The Holotypic Occlupanid Research Group (HORG) is devoted to the scientific study of creatures known as occlupanids. If their physiology looks oddly familiar, it might be because you’re used to calling occlupanids by their common name – that is, if you bother to talk about them at all. Occlupanid derives from occlu, meaning close, and pan, meaning bread. These creatures are bread ties – the small plastic clips that keep bread bags closed.
The HORG site carefully describes the anatomy of each ‘species’ of bread tie, based on the shape of its plastic teeth (‘oral groove’ in the site’s terminology), and assigns each a Latin name and place in the evolutionary tree.
It’s hard to know whether this is science, art or a very elaborate gag. While the classification has been approached with the pedantic rigour of a serious scientist, surely the site’s claim that occlupanids “take nourishment from plastic sacs that surround the bagged product, not the product itself, as was previously thought” is dripping with irony.