Does cancer whistle upstairs?

When the cancer whistles on the mountain ”- so they say, implying:“ it is not known when ”; "in an indefinite future tense", "never". A saying means the impossibility of doing something. The creators of this Russian proverb were sure that the crayfish living on the river bottom would not leave their habitat, would not appear on land, and certainly would not whistle.

Do crustaceans whistle?

Among crustaceans, there are about forty thousand different species, and not all of them are strictly associated with the aquatic environment. Some are even capable of making sounds.

Fiddler crabs (or alluring crabs) live in the intertidal zone of tropical seas. They can stay on land for a long time. They have nothing to whistle with (they need lungs to whistle), and crabs, although they crawl out onto land, breathe not with lungs, but with gills. But they learned to communicate using sound. Striking the ground with their claws, they knock, thereby notifying their fellows of the approaching danger.

Clicker crabs live in shallow sea waters. They can make clicking sounds with their claws. But this is not just a knock. When a cancer strikes a “movable” finger of its claw against a fixed one, an effect is called cavitation: gas bubbles are formed from a sharp pressure drop in the liquid, which is accompanied by an explosive sound.

Many species of spiny lobsters (these are large sea crayfish without claws) are capable of cracking and grinding. But they extract sounds differently - as if playing a stringed instrument. On the antennae of lobster, at the very base, there is a ridge used as a bow, with which the cancer leads with a high frequency across the outgrowth on the head - the "nail file". The pitch and volume of the sound may change depending on how hard the bow is pressed. For whom all this "music" is intended, it is not known exactly. Most likely, lobsters scare away predators in such a way, because most often they make sounds at the moment of fright. It has not been proven, but it is not excluded that this is how they communicate with relatives.

At the time of the appearance of the adage about whistling cancer, the last word was written with a capital letter. Cancer is the nickname of the famous Odessa marviher (as the thieves-guest performers were once called) Rakachinsky, given to him not so much because of his surname, but because of a special sign - strongly bulging eyes. Once Rak lost a bet, according to which he was obliged to whistle a bypass road (Skodova Gora) with a three-time whistle during its intensive use. Since the rains flooded Peresyp 'extremely rarely, this circumstance gave rise to the well-known phrase. The name "Shkodova Gora" is preserved to this day in the toponymy of the city. Having dropped out of the expression of K.R.N.G.S. clarification of "Shkodov" noticeably weakened the semantic load of the phrase.