Wednesday, October 7, 2009


Deciphering the genetic code of Legrands’s gold-bug resolves the mystery of Captain Kidd’s buried chest

Edgar LaMorgue and Virginia Pale
Charlestonian Gravedigging Institute, Charleston, USA

Since its discovery in the mid-nineteen century by Dr. Legrand (see the tale), the gold-bug (Scarabaeus caput hominis) remains as one of the major biological enigmas in natural history, being the only specimen found of its species. Comparison of the gold-bug genome with that of other beetles or related insects has not been possible, since the gold-bug genome is encrypted under a unique and exclusive genetic code of outstanding mathematical complexity. Efforts to decipher the gold-bug genetic code have failed to date, the only output of these investigations being a bunch of alcoholic and paranoid PhD students that had to be secluded in the madhouse before concluding the initial experiments of their thesis projects. Based on the previous work by Vientre et al. on the reading and translation of the DNA sequence from short-genome alien organisms (see CurrRevol 21/04/09), we have fully deciphered and patented the genetic code of Legrand’s gold-bug. Here, we report the preliminary analysis of a part of the genome sequence of this scarabeid beetle, which has been instrumental to resolve the mystery that had obscured for decades the gold-bug’s popular tale, namely the number of blows that Captain Kidd gave to his coadjutor pirates with the mattock, to shut them up in hell, after the treasure chest was deep buried and secure, aside the famous tall tulip-tree that marked the spot of the booty hidden place. Some authors have speculated that perhaps a couple of blows, perhaps a dozen, would be sufficient for such a criminal act. Our shrewd reading of the gold-bug DNA sequence provided us with the exact number of beats received by the heads of the two incautious pirates. The anatomical and molecular inspection of the skulls from Kidd’s comrades found in the pit, on the treasure chest, corroborated with accuracy the estimations attained from the analysis of the gold-bug DNA ciphered message. The complete interpretation of the gold-bug genome awaits further studies, but we can anticipate seminal discoveries regarding ambiguous or cryptic passages from other inspired tales by E.A.P.

1 comment:

  1. I have no doubt that deciphering the genomes of certain species like black cat (Felix catus malrrollerus) or raven (Corvux corax parlantis) will help to understand the misteries of the stories created by the genius from Boston. Good job with the golden bug!