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Discovery Magazine 6/1/2008

The Fish that Steals a Ride

Many years ago, men called hobos travelled across the country by riding trains. The problem was hobos did not pay for tickets. They would wait until the train began moving, and then jump on. It was difficult to catch hobos, and they often “stole” rides for hundreds of miles. Did you know there is a fish in the ocean that acts like a hobo? It is called the remora.

Remoras can grow to be about three feet long. They have a special disc that grows on the top of their heads. This disc acts like a big suction cup. The remoras swim next to a large ocean animal like a shark, whale, or sea turtle. Then they stick their heads onto the body of the larger animal and suction themselves onto it. Once they are attached, they ride all over the ocean for free. When remoras want to detach themselves, they simply swim forward and cause their special disc to break the suction. If you have ever seen movies about sharks or whales and seen fish attached to them, those fish are remoras.

Remoras can attach to larger fish and turtles so well that some people use remoras to catch other fish. These fishermen tie a string to the tail of a remora. Then they turn the remora loose in the ocean. The remora finds a larger fish or turtle and hooks itself onto it. The fishermen then pull the string back to the boat, with the remora attached to the large fish.

When we study this amazing fish, we can see that there is no way it could have evolved. Evolution cannot explain the remora’s amazing suction disc. Nor can evolution explain why other fish simply let remoras hitch a ride for free. The best explanation for remoras’ unique traits is that God designed them to do exactly what they do. The next time you see a remora on TV hitching a free ride, think about its special suction disc. And think about the God Who designed it.

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