Polarity, Bipolarity and Sea butterflies

I’m backtracking here, but within the bounds of last week, I encountered two completely unrelated items, united by their bipolarity:

Exhibit A: Your OED Word Of The Day is… Meronym

A word denoting the midpoint between two polar opposites. As in North Pole> Equator <South Pole*.

More importantly, the OED WOTD came several days before Exhibit B…

Exhibit B: Odd, identical species found at both poles:

{ National Geographic.com }

And yes, that would be ‘species’ plural. At least 234 species have been found to exist in both the Arctic and the Antarctic. Which in technical terms (if high school Biology and Wikipedia serve me correctly) means that a Limacina helicina from the Arctic could mate with a Limacina helicina from the Antarctic (supposing they found some way to consummate such a very long-distance relationship), to produce fertile offspring. Take that, established theories of biogeography!


Exhibit A and Exhibit B lead me to wonder firstly, whether last week’s recency illusion really was working towards the theme of ‘polarity’ (or if it was just me); and secondly, where the baby Arctic/Antarctic sea butterflies** would live. Certainly not in Kenya

…that’s for sure.

* Or as in Hungry> Satiated <Full…  Happy> Meh <Sad…  Awake> Daydreaming <Asleep… MSNBC> CNN <FOX.  I realise the OED would never punctuate it like this, but it seems so right that it can’t hurt to do so.

** Sea butterflies? How lovely. Actually, I think whoever wrote the Wiki entry for Limacina did a particularly charming job: …The shells of these sea butterflies are well developed, sinistrally coiled, turret-like and unpigmented”


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