Last week, I was watching the BBC News Channel, like I do.
The BBC weatherman came up on screen, as he does.
He started talking about the unusually low temperatures in Florida and how the National Weather Service there had issued a warning about the dangers to the public from iguanas falling out of the trees.
Specifically, the National Weather Service in Miami warned residents:
“Don’t be surprised if you see iguanas falling from the trees tonight as lows drop into the 30s and 40s.”
When temperatures drop, apparently iguanas tend to become immobile.
As a result, they lose their grip and fall out of the trees, remaining stunned on the ground until they thaw out.
Male iguanas can be up to five feet long and weigh 20 pounds. You do not want your loved ones to be hit by a falling iguana and there are a lot of them about: female iguanas can lay around 80 eggs per year.
The Associated Press reported that the number of iguanas in South Florida has “increased dramatically in recent years,” so death by iguana is an increasing danger.
The BBC News weatherman last week had done additional research. He said that apparently, in these low temperatures, iguanas have trouble mating. He said (and you have to say it out loud) that this was known as a reptile dysfunction.
This is why I pay my TV Licence in the UK: to be simultaneously and succinctly informed, educated and entertained.
Today, a week later, I received an email from my friend Lynn (not to be confused with comic performer Lynn Ruth Miller), currently in Costa Rica. It reads:
“Waiting for rain to stop. We had a massive iguana thud from a tree onto a table where we were eating.”
So the danger continues, increases and may spread further.
You have been warned.
This is very reminiscent of a scene in Paul Thomas Anderson’s 1999 movie Magnolia…