Academic Probation
Oldberg displays one of the living peices of junk she pulled out of the ocean.

Researcher cheated by discovery of new worthless sea-creatures

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A five-year international expedition of the world's oceans led by University of Calgary natural biology professor Dr. Michelle Oldberg ended this past Monday after documenting over 250 new forms of sea-life, all of which, according to Oldberg, "totally suck."

The research mission, which brought together 15 universities from across the globe, uncovered useless forms of garbage life across the range of biodiversity. The list includes 14 new species of sea sponges, 20 new types of zooplankton, six rock slugs and dozens of other creatures no one will ever care about.

Oldberg presented her findings at an event hosted in the U of C science theatres, boring the assembled audience of expert zoologists with pictures of miniature sea stars and spice-mites.

"And this next slide is very interesting for several reasons," Oldberg said, switching the PowerPoint image display from a piece of seaweed to another, slightly different, piece of seaweed. "The biggest one being that anyone is actually paying attention to this."

Mid-way through detailing the reproductive activities of the deepwater sea louse, Oldberg looked up from her notes and made eye contact with all 12 in the room individually, for a period of two-minutes, before releasing a tragic sigh.

In attendance was professor Raj Kersing, discoverer of the western water-lion, a type of parasitical fungus that infects the gill-linings of deep-water minnows and does not have more than a sentence devoted to it in any textbook, anywhere. Kersing struggled to stay conscious during the majority of the presentation, waking up only to reflect on how poorly his own life had turned out.

"If I had been born 50 or 60 years ago, things would have been different. Today there just aren't any cool animals left to find," Kersing said. "Who gives a shit about sea cucumbers?"

Sea cucumbers, ocean dwelling creatures with leathery, malleable skin and an elongated body housing a single, branched gonad were featured on 68 of the 120 slides in Oldberg's display. When asked, all audience members agreed they were horrible animals whose discovery added nothing to the world.

Oldberg, who now shares her name with the grotesque Melanocetus Oldbergi -- a fish that attaches itself to the anus of several types of squid to live off their excrement -- hoped her findings teach others to give up on exploring the seas.

"Everyone imagines that there might be these huge sea serpents down there," said Oldberg. "News flash, there isn't. I should know. I just wasted five years of my life looking at little moving specks in the water."

The expedition, which cost $268 million, made headlines last year when the team was exposed by maritime authorities to be painting whales in an attempt to record new species.

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