The latest addition to the tree of life is a new type of seapen, named Pseudumbellula scotiae, which has been found living on the continental slopes and plains of the Rockall Trough, 2,000 metres below sea level and about 240 miles off Scotland’s west coast.
Such deep-water creatures are rarely encountered and poorly understood which, given their isolated location, is perfectly understandable. Scottish environment minister Mairi McAllan hailed the “important and exciting” news, saying it suggested that “sub-sea biodiversity is far more diverse than previously believed”.
Given a discovery of this magnitude, it was perhaps surprising that it was not raised at Prime Minister’s Questions yesterday, alongside queries about washing machines, the good work of a local job centre, and, ahem, another matter.
Indeed Boris Johnson seemed glad to be asked questions by members on the government benches about anything but that other matter so no doubt he would have welcomed the chance to comment on this new scientific discovery in what is surely one of the remotest parts of these islands.
However, unfortunately for him, it seems that, much like the dogs in the street, even the Pseudumbellula scotiae in the deep and distant trough know that the Prime Minister does not have a leg to stand on over his attendance at a Downing Street garden party during lockdown and that he has no option but to resign.