This is the Technical Difficulties.
We’re playing Citation Needed. Joining me in the studio today:
He reads books, you know — it’s Chris Joel! I can see that I’m destined to be permanently surprised
by us starting over and over again today. Everybody’s favourite Gary Brannan — Gary Brannan! And the bounciest man on the internet — Matt Gray! Hello YouTube. In front of me I have an article from Wikipedia,
and these folks can’t see it. Every fact they get right gets a point and a ding [DING], and the special prize for particularly good answers,
which is… [Sings] Hitting the taaable! [Laughter]
Oh no! Forgot my buzzer.
Completely forgot to bring my buzzer. Today’s article is…
The coffin ray. [Coughing] ‘I’m a fish and I killed Steve Irwin.’ GARY and TOM: Ohhh. GARY: So R-A-Y. Yes, R-A-Y. MATT: …Charles? First of all, you’re getting a point for ‘fish’. [DING] Heyyy! But it’s not the one that killed Steve Irwin. No, that one’s already been sent to the electric chair. That was also a sting ray, which… [“Stingray” riff]
Da da laa dup daaa dup! [“Stingray” bassline]
Bom bom bom bom bom bom bom bom! [Steve Irwin voice]
‘Crikey! I’ve got hold of it!’ ‘But anything could happen in the next half hour!’ No… he was killed by a stinger. This is a coffin ray, so it kills with…? Coffins! Just chucking boxes at folk. Shark… ‘Come on! I’ll ‘ave yer!’ Yaaagh! Scuba diver… Boom! What you don’t realize is,
he’s actually a skilled carpenter as well. Is it some new version of like, Donkey Kong? GARY: Yeah! Totally! You know, for the Wii,
now you’ve got 3-D graphics, and… Monkey and barrels, done to death. Right… boom! Lob a coffin… The thing is: beautiful brass handles,
all done out inside… Bonus points if you can get the door to open, and close on what you’re throwing it at… and then it lands in the hole. Let’s face it: that’s the undertaker’s dream, isn’t it. It’s got the diver going, ‘Dat da da da…’ ‘What the… ooof!’
Boom! Doors closing — sea bed. I like Gary’s idea. You’ve got some sort of
Rube Goldberg machine… So on the one hand, you’ve got your stiff laid out here,
your coffin here, And just differently weighted catapults:
Badoong… Whoosh — boomf!
[Laughter] The coffin ray kills with something that isn’t a stinger. Kindness. Withering put-downs. ‘I’ve seen better.’ Actually, he’s got his tail,
that’s in the shape of a pipe there. Yeah, just swept round.
Well, if it’s not a stinger…! Is it electrocution? TOM: Yes it is. Have a point. [DING]
CHRIS: Heyyy! Why the coffin ray, then?
I have never seen an electric coffin. Though I do want neon round mine, I’ve said that. [Laughter]
Yeah. Yeah. CHRIS: That’d be cool. GARY: That’s just a car battery
you’d need in there, isn’t it? Bzzt… bzzt.
‘Occupied’. ‘No Rooms’. That is a good question, actually:
Why would it be called the coffin ray? Given in mind it’s a ray, so it’s a flat fish. Does it kill you? Probably because it’s got that distinctive shape. That’s a coffin shape. *You* get a point… [DING]
*You’re* wrong — it doesn’t. Normally it gives you a nasty shock,
but it doesn’t generally kill people. But you’re right, it gets bloated after… Yeah. It’s in your wardrobe at night when you get home… GARY: Boo!
CHRIS: Aagh! Wouldn’t be so bad,
but it’s filled the damn thing with water to survive! TOM: Bloosh!
GARY: Actually no, it’s… It’s in your bog system, isn’t it?
[Laughter] Bzzt! Bzzt! ‘Occupied’. It’s also called the crampfish. GARY: The crampfish?
TOM: Crampfish. Is it because the electric shock merely inspires cramp? No, it’s because whoever it’s with is made to look s***. [Laughter]
Cramps your style, man. Yes. The electric ray kills you with an electric shock,
or attempts to kill you with an electric shock. How does it generate that? Friction! It’s got a piece of carpet on the bottom of the river…
[Laughter] Goes back and forth and then sits there, going, ‘F***ing Steve Irwin!’ I was going to say, pedal-powered dynamo behind it.
[Laughter] Ah, that’s brilliant!
What does it pedal with? It’s got no feet. Little wings, it’s got. No, it’s peddling things. It’s selling them. Yeah! Ahh! Just buys batteries. TOM: Ah. Ah. CHRIS: Oh. Ah.
GARY: He’s got a battery? F*** off. Er, point! [DING] CHRIS: Duracell! What, double A? What? Surely it’s a capacitor. It was essentially one of the inspirations for batteries, when Alessandro Volta and Galvani… …stuck one in the back of his radio
and noticed it worked briefly. MATT: It’s got a lead-acid gland.
TOM: They were using it as… Replace the steam engine with a fish! ‘A bank of a thousand of these
could light an entire factory, Ichabod!’ ‘We’ve thrown one in the boiler. It’s water…’ ‘Maybe we could *extract* the electricity.’ ‘And store it in a jar, or jug, or other piece.’ …a jug of electricity! ‘Oh no, iPod’s gone flat.’ Bloop-bloop-bloop!
‘Crackin’!’ ‘Get the ray out…’ It is essentially what’s called a voltaic pile. I’ve had them. I’ve got an ointment.
[Laughter] Yeah. Okay.
I realized the moment that came out of my mouth… Surely just something that’s not properly earthed,
so you can just discharge them. ‘Get that copper pipe away or it’ll arc.’ Ba-boom! Shortest route to ground! Where do we find it? If you want to go and find a… Water! TOM: Okay. Yes. Not giving you a point for that.
GARY: The seas. CHRIS: Not the seas. Rivers. MATT: Hot seas.
CHRIS: Big rivers. Er… you’re closer. It’s essentially… The Deep Hole. Hull? It’s an ugly-looking fish that wants to kill you.
Where’s it going to live? — Australia.
— Point. [DING] It’s one of the few things that isn’t poisonous. It can actually generate up to about two hundred volts. At what current? Yes, I was going to say,
‘It’s the volts that jolts; it’s the mills that kills.’ TOM: It doesn’t actually say that but, er… Ooo… It also spends most of the day buried in sediment,
with only a little… Building up friction. GARY: Yep. ‘Don’t you come near me, or so help you,
I’ll stick you to the wall!’ But that is a… It conceals itself on the sea floor,
which is a problem because…? You stand on it. Point. [DING] It turns out that if you just have
the ray sitting there in sand, and you just pour some seawater on it, what happens? It goes ‘pfffftttt!’ and arcs. CHRIS: Wow! I thought that was the arcing, but no! First, that’s… No, that was the flapping of the fish going ‘Water!’ Building up the charge. I’m with you, yes. You get a shock up it. Yeah, you do. [DING] It’s still strong enough
that you can get enough of a shock all the way up the seawater you’re pouring on it. Don’t piss on it. Don’t piss on the electric ray! I am… I have to look up and see if that advice… I think you just don’t piss on anyone called Ray. That’s true. Men called Raymond have been
campaigning for that for years. ‘Stop pissing on me!’ I can tell you that, having searched for that… There’s a lot of talk about urinating on an electric fence, and standing on a ray… But as far as I can tell… GARY: No one’s done the two at the same time. No one has ever researched peeing on an electric ray. Nobody’s stood on a fence and pissed on a fish. Australia, it’s on you. [Laughter] If any of you have weed on an electric ray and lived… Well, you will have lived to tell the tale, but… TOM: Yeah, do tell us in the comments. GARY: What’s it like?
TOM: Yeah. MATT: Or a video response. GARY: Oh yeah, film it. Oh. Don’t…! Do film it… just from a very careful angle. What does the coffin ray feed on? Normally. I mean, obviously it shocks… Coffins! Plankton. Er, no… bigger things than that. Big plankton. Close. No. Chips. TOM: Erm… MATT: Shrimp.
TOM: Like… you’re… I’m nowhere near!
Stop trying to manufacture this as a clue. [Laughter] Well, it’s something that goes with chips… Fish! There we go! [DING] ‘Benthic bony fishes’. Excuse me? ‘Benthic bony fishes’. MATT: Benthic?
GARY: Is that a brand? No, it’s a depth in the ocean. It’s a subset of the sort of strata
that exist in waters of the ocean. It is! Have a point. [DING] CHRIS: Heyyy!
GARY: There you go. Well done. MATT: Benthic.
CHRIS: Yeah, it’s the benthic zone. I can’t remember if it’s the top or the middle
or the bottom, but as you go down… So is that like in The Crystal Maze? You go through one, then you get to the Benthic zone… Yeah! If Richard O’Brien was in scuba gear. And can we just pause for a second for that image? …and all enjoy that image. He would look like a pint of Guinness. It’s a three-quarter one.
They’re cut off so you can see his bandy little legs… Little harmonica attached to it just here. CHRIS: Yeah. Yeah.
GARY: You’d need a little… well, you’d need a belt. Instead of a knife in his boot: harmonica. Yeah. And actually the harmonica
is specially adapted to work underwater. CHRIS: Yeah, absolutely. I was seeing a belt for weights,
because he’s quite a light fellow. Oh yeah, yeah. He’s a spry lad.
We’re going to have to… But he could have a harmonica clip there… Yeah, and we’re going deep,
so you know he needs a lot of weight. GARY: Wait, what are we talking about?
CHRIS: Going Deep, with Richard O’Brien. [Laughter]
Good name. You would pass through —
is the benthic zone at the top? TOM: It’s the bottom.
CHRIS: It’s at the bottom? Oh, blimey. So you’d pass through the blah-blah-blah zone… GARY: Industrial, Aztec…
CHRIS: And as the pressure increases, there are distinct changes in salinity,
and what can exist there and so on. And apparently the benthic zone is at the bottom. Can we now make Richard O’Brien’s
Journey to the Bottom of the Sea? I’ve just got the thought of it, instead of being like your traditional
underwater nature documentary, narrated, I actually want to see it presented by him doing
pieces to camera from the bottom of the ocean… CHRIS: Yeah. But all you’d hear is the honking, wheezing…
[Laughter] [Honking, wheezing and bubbling] When I signed the contract,
I assumed a submarine or diving bell. [Laughter]
Or bluescreen. You can’t take a bluescreen underwater! Take a greenscreen down,
and just ‘Shop in a desert behind him. ‘…the hell?!’ [Bubbling] So this is Richard O’Brien’s Journey to the Sahara
Under the Bottom of the Sea. Richard O’Brien Drowns in the Sahara, Under the Sea. Sorry, Richard. There are some very large creatures that have been found in the stomachs of these rays… Not just fishes. Any ideas what those might be? Sharks! Duncan Goodhews. CHRIS: Max Bygraves.
[Laughter] Not quite that kind of size. A truck. The International Space Station. Brian Blessed’s underwear drawer. Big underwear drawer. Salma Hayek. [Laughter] The Library of Alexandria. A Mark IV Cortina. [Laughter] They’re normally things on land… A fridge! TOM: But they are… they are… Tigers! Not quite that big. Erm… Vladimir Putin. [Laughter] You said, ‘big things that live on land’. We’ll get there eventually. Rats and penguins. Awww. Penguins?! It’s taken penguins. They’ve found…
penguins in the stomachs of these rays. I’m sorry, but I do find the image of… a penguin poddling across the beach, and then suddenly going, BZZZZT! …quite hilarious. MATT: Awww. Would all his feathers fly off, and just leave him kind of that pinky naked colour,
but with smoke coming out of his bill? I met a penguin the other week. Was he in a shop? Did you ask him that question? ‘What would happen if you were electrocuted? ‘Would your feathers fly off
and smoke come out of your bill?’ It didn’t feel feathery. Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa… ‘feel’. Hang on. Rewind. How did you meet a penguin? Okay, later question: How do you *feel* a penguin? But first of all, how can you meet a penguin? Well, kind of like this sort of thing…
[Laughter] ‘Oh my…’ So I was in the desert… …of course. With Richard O’Brien. So you were actually under the sea, yeah? And in said desert, in Dubai… GARY: Oh, right…
TOM: Dubai, okay. Where anything happens and usually does… Home of ridiculous buildings. Yes. There is a ski centre in Dubai. GARY: Naturellement.
CHRIS: Because you can. Because if you’ve got the money to live in Dubai, you can’t afford to fly to France and go on real snow. So outside, it’s 45 degrees. Inside, it’s minus 4. Was he greeting you as you entered?
‘Wak.’ They sort of wave as they run. ‘Aaaa, it’s Matt Gray! I seen you on the internet!’ Were you supposed to be in the penguin enclosure? Yeah, they have sort of a
penguin sanctuary kind of thing in this… TOM: For all those lost penguins in the desert.
GARY: For those lost desert penguins, yeah. And yeah, they have a ‘Meet the Penguins’ experience. You all sit on the bench, the penguins run in… ‘Waheyyy!’ *That’s* getting GIFed. [Laughter] And then they’re like, ‘Do you want to touch it?’ GARY: That’s a seedy question to ask, isn’t it? ‘I’ll touch a penguin.’ And the penguin… they get the penguin
to stand like that in front of you. And you can touch its back and it… it feels like a snake. ALL: Oooo. Sort of waxy, scaly, rather than feathers. Oh, it would be, wouldn’t it? Because it’s waterproofed. Yeah. It’s got wax on it!
[Spraying noises] ‘You can touch this one. We’ve varnished it.
You’ll not do any damage.’ I was thinking sort of… that kind of thing, but no. You’d just use a wax sprayer at the local car wash. Come on. We’re in Dubai…
are you going to think about that? TOM: Yeah. And then they said… ‘Do you want to hug it?’ Were the actual words
‘Would you like to hug with penguin’ used? Yeah! ‘Do you want to hug the penguin?’ GARY: Yeah.
TOM: Yes. ‘Yes. I would like to hug that penguin.’ What do they smell like? Fishy. Yeah, I thought they would. Well, they’re not going to
put some cologne on the penguin… Honk honk honk!
[Spritzing sounds] Ah, come on now.
A cat doesn’t smell of lamb, does it? It smells like a cat. So I don’t know, why would they smell of fish
because that’s what they eat? Because they’re a fish… ish thing. They’re not a fish! Penguins aren’t fish!
…am I wrong? They’re birds. Exactly. Thank you. For a minute, you’re starting to doubt
your own facts there, you know what I mean? ‘Penguins aren’t… fish…?’ To be fair, I did actually have Wikipedia up at that point just to check that a penguin was in fact a bird, and not some kind of fishy thing. All right. At the end of the show,
congratulations Matt, you win! Yaaay! You win a replica of the singer of ‘Livin’ On A Prayer’
made of small chocolate sweet candies. It’s a Bonbon Jovi. TOM: Thank you very much to Chris Joel!
CHRIS: Well, goodbye! TOM: To Gary Brannan!
GARY: Salutem. TOM: To Matt Gray!
MATT: Bye-bye. I’ve been Tom Scott. That’s been the Technical Difficulties. We’ll see you next time. Are we making a series of crematorium gags here? CHRIS: Yes. To be…
GARY: ‘To go where no man has been before!’ Crematorium Thunderbirds jokes, let’s be clear. GARY: Let’s be fair! We’re not completely
stupid and irresponsible. TOM: …So he dropped out at nine miles…
GARY: Yeah. TOM: Rode the rest of the way,
then the car broke down at mile 19… and he just started jogging again! ALL: Oooo. GARY: That sounds highbrow and commemorative. Oooh, it… As opposed to lowbrow and commemorative. Lowbrow commemoration! ‘Dave’s dead!’
[Laughter] ‘Back down t’ pit!’ ‘We’re commemorating this with a giant brass arse!’