Singing Plague Spreads Worldwide

Continuing our recent theme of plagues, a plague of singing flowers is spreading worldwide. This does not seem to be related to the previous singing flower event on which we reported. Instead this is an actual plague, with the singing spreading rapidly from one blossom to the next. As the flowers are all singing the same tune, the most likely explanation is that they have contracted an earworm.

Earworms are a common infection in humans, when tunes, or fragments of tunes, take on a life of their own and become stuck in a person’s head, sometimes subconsciously. One common example is the theme from Korobeiniki, known more commonly as the Tetris song, which has infected an estimated 48% of adults worldwide, rising to over 90% in Russia and the Western nations. Including the Archivist. They are generally a harmless parasite, but can eventually cause madness or cerebral decay if left unchecked for many years. Several known reliefs from earworms are known, such as humming the original Thomas the Tank Engine theme song. Indeed, this song was originally attached to the children’s programme as a way to inoculate them against the rising tide of earworms.

The singing flowers are spreading rapidly, especially in Western Australia, where the wildflowers have taken to the tune with gusto. The tune is not particularly catchy to humans, and as discussed before flowers are terrible at singing, so it should be safe enough for interested subhistorians to get out into nature, get up close to a flower and experience singing flowers for themselves. If doing this, we request that you participate in slowing the spread of the earworm by singing the Thomas the Tank Engine theme to the plants, or using another of the many methods to extract the earworm. Anyone with the proper equipment for bottling earworms is requested to send a sample to Hull Parascience in the UK with the date collected, location and a notation (not recording!) of the tune heard to assist in localising the origin of the earworm.

Early work suggests the plague may have originated in the USA, but more information is needed to verify this and determine the exact location more thoroughly.


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