Photos of readers

Today’s photo (and the last one in the queue) is from reader Sleazeweazel, whose words are indented, and in the form of a letter to the proprietor. Be sure to send in your submission (remember, two photos max, though I’ve made an exception today).

July 11, 2020
Professor C. Cat:
Why Evolution is True
Re: Photos of readers

Newsflash!: “ Coronavirus pandemic spread by butterflies!

Deep in the fetid swamps of north Florida faithful WEIT reader Sleazeweazel, an environmental designer and resident of Wacahoota, has discovered the true cause of the Covid-19 pandemic. Worst of all, as we so feared, the virus is rapidly mutating into ever more virulent forms.

We know from the pronouncements of our President that the virus was first developed by proponents of the New World Order in a clandestine laboratory in Wuhan, China. This artificial organism was originally designed for use in biological warfare; however, an accident in the laboratory contaminated the Chief Scientist’s dog which was subsequently sold in the wet market, thus releasing this terrible plague upon the world. Once released the virus began to mutate.

Most virus genomes are too small to easily explain their rapid evolution by the conventional means of natural selection; so, to provide the diversity necessary for rapid adaptation, many viruses utilize horizontal gene transfer (HGT), a scenario in which a fragment of the genome of an otherwise unrelated species is incorporated into the genome of the coronavirus. In urban environments the Covid-19 virus uses HGT to share genetic information with other coronaviruses. The chimeric monstrosity thus produced can easily overwhelm the immune response of any host.

By this time we are all familiar with the famous microphotograph of the Covid organism taken by the super secret Macrame laboratory in Palo Alto.

In remote wetlands throughout the southern United States, a far more ominous development is taking place. There, in dank wet nooks, the Covid coronavirus is sharing material with members of the Nucleocytoviricota, better known as the Giant viruses. These are not yet known to infect humans, but are suspected to be rampant among tigers, pangolins, civet dogs, and other potential vectors commonly encountered in the bush meat trade.

So it was that the Weazel was exploring a wetland in north Florida in search of the elusive but delicious armadillo and there encountered the extraordinarily large viron seen below. Worst of all, it was covered in butterflies that were transferring the contamitrons to poodle poop and other nearby environmental surfaces. At first I had no idea of its lethality, so I foolishly picked it up for closer examination!

This enormous virus has now been classified by taxonomists as Coronovirus cephalanthus subsp. occidentalis. Fortunately, it is too large to be easily inhaled.

Further explorations deeper into the swamp revealed an even more dangerous mutant form now classified as Coronavirus mimosa subsp. strigillosa. As you can see from the yellow knobs on the ends of the spikes, this viron is ripe and ready to infect any passerby that might inadvertently become lost in the jungle.

Thus far the Weazel is asymptomatic, but for safety sake he is sequestering deep in the woods of Weazelworld to await herd immunity.

We do not yet know the full extent of the danger posed by these new mutant coronaviruses, so readers are urged to remain in crowded cities, avoid butterflies, and stay glued to the tube for late breaking news!

Your correspondent on the front lines of cryptobiology,



  1. BobTerrace
    Posted July 12, 2020 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

    Oh no! Two weeks ago, my wife and I realized that Covid-19 was about to zoom (old meaning) in Florida, so we drove to Massachusetts. We passed through north Florida and our final destination was Westford, Massachusetts, only a few miles from a butterfly place. Maybe we picked up and transferred Covid-19 on butterfly wings!

  2. Bruce Thiel
    Posted July 12, 2020 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

    Great alert – love it!

    • JoanL
      Posted July 12, 2020 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

      +2 (I’ll second that.)

  3. Randall Schenck
    Posted July 12, 2020 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

    I can certainly understand why you might not want your real name to get out there. Florida is the new California. What use to be known as the land of the fruits and nuts.

  4. jezgrove
    Posted July 12, 2020 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

    Photos of Readers may never be the same again! (Loved it, btw.)

  5. Posted July 12, 2020 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

    Excellent post, sir. If I start another company, which I doubt, it will be called Viron, Inc. Assuming it isn’t taken already.

  6. Posted July 12, 2020 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

    “Super secret Macrame laboratory”… LOL. All very amusing.

  7. merilee
    Posted July 12, 2020 at 4:24 pm | Permalink


  8. Dtaylor
    Posted July 12, 2020 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

    Loved it! The picture, the text–wonderful!!

  9. Posted July 12, 2020 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

    You made my day! 😉

  10. Mark R.
    Posted July 12, 2020 at 7:45 pm | Permalink

    This wins the most creative Reader post. Thanks for the fun and giggles. And as if you need any encouragement, stay safe down their in Fl. Your state’s record breaking streak is spooky.

  11. jedijan
    Posted July 12, 2020 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

    Oh my … The poor souls suffering from Lepidopterophobia will simply never venture out again. 🦋

  12. BJ
    Posted July 12, 2020 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

    Great stuff!

    “Fortunately, it is too large to be easily inhaled.”

    I dunno. I inhaled far bigger mounds and lin…um, I mean, things…back in the day.

  13. Max Blancke
    Posted July 12, 2020 at 8:50 pm | Permalink

    Great post. Loved the image.

  14. Posted July 12, 2020 at 9:43 pm | Permalink

    hahaha. Killer.
    Well NOW we KNOW!
    Thank you.

  15. GregZ
    Posted July 12, 2020 at 9:59 pm | Permalink

    That was awesome.

  16. Patrick Wilber
    Posted July 13, 2020 at 9:55 am | Permalink

    I feel safe knowing this.

    A growing concern is the efficacy of plastic straw bans on sea turtle populations.

    It may be time to ban disposable masks.

    For the environment. And children.

  17. Posted July 13, 2020 at 10:08 am | Permalink

    Nature is beautiful, even the crazier of this species!

  18. Posted July 14, 2020 at 1:35 am | Permalink

    So this is the last of the reader photos in the tank. And PCC really thinks anyone is going to send any more to try to top this? I mean, who remembers Lou Gehrig’s replacement in the line up? Babe Ruth’s? Way to ruin it all….. But what a great way to end it!

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