"Aquatic Animals" is the third episode of the A series of QI. It first aired on 18 September 2003 on BBC Four, and aired on BBC Two a week later.

The episode was the second to feature Bill Bailey (after "Astronomy"), not including the Pilot. It marked the first time a guest panellist had appeared in two episodes in a row. The previous episode was "Astronomy" and the next episode was "Atoms".


Numbers in brackets mark appearances - e.g. "(2)" means "(second appearance)".

  1. Clive Anderson (1): 26 points
  2. Meera Syal (1): 19 points
  3. Bill Bailey (2): 10 points
  4. Alan Davies (3): -20 points


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  • The longest animal in the world is the Lion's mane jellyfish,[1] as described in the Sherlock Holmes story, The Adventure of the Lion's Mane. Its main body or "bell" is only 8 ft long, but its tentacles can stretch for 20 m. Its sting is only occasionally fatal. (This was later corrected in episode 10 of series C; the actual longest animal in the world is the Bootlace worm.)
  • Blue whales have small throats and can swallow nothing larger than a grapefruit. Their diet consists of eating 3 tonnes of krill every day. Their penis is 16 feet long and their testicles contain 7 gallons each, but they only weigh 22 lbs, which in equivalent terms, would make human's testicles weigh the same as a broad bean.
  • An octopus can be taught to unscrew the lids of jars and bottles. Depending on how tough it is to open, it can take between a few seconds to an hour, but they have memories, so they have to be taught every day. Octopus's ink is used to make risotto, they mate with their 3rd right arm and have 3 hearts.
  • The continent of Antarctica has six seas and no bees. The seas that border it are the Ross Sea, the Davis Sea, the Weddell Sea, the Bellingshausen Sea, the Lazarev Sea and the Amundsen Sea.
  • ranks Clive Anderson as seventeen percent less annoying than Antarctica. Anderson is the 13th commonest surname in the English-speaking world. Unlike Hans Christian Andersen, Pamela Anderson and Gillian Anderson, he is not a vegetarian.
  • John Henry Anderson, the Great Wizard of the North, was the first magician to pull a rabbit out of a hat. His other tricks include the "Inexhaustible Bottle", where he was able to produce any drink requested by an audience member and the "Great Gun Trick", where he seemingly caught a bullet being fired by a musket. Anderson left pats of butter with a stamp saying "Anderson Is Here" in hotels.
  • Both Hans Christian Andersen and Joseph Stalin were the sons of a cobbler and a washerwoman. Andersen suffered from dyslexia, Agraphobia, was a vegetarian (as mentioned earlier), was gay (mainly based on the gay parable in " The Ugly Duckling"). Charles Dickens hated being around him and at one time Andersen refused to leave. He was buried next to a friend he fell in love with and the friend's wife, before it was removed. He also feared being burned or buried alive.

General IgnoranceEdit

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  • In Greek mythology, Atlas was punished by Zeus and was forced to carry the sky.[2] He is often pictured carrying the globe in atlases made by the Flemish cartographer Mercator, that became known as "Mercator's Atlas" and the name stuck along with the image.
  • Over fifty percent of the world's oxygen is provided by algae.[3] It's believed that up to ninety percent might be supplied by it. Mature trees actually give off less oxygen than they consume.
  • The driest place on Earth is the Dry Valleys Region of Antarctica.[4] Even though Antarctica is virtually all ice and snow, the Dry Valleys Region has no ice or snow and hasn't seen any rain for 2 million years. The second driest place is the Atacama Desert in Chile, which hasn't seen rain in 400 years.
  • The length of a day is not exactly 24 hours. The International Earth Rotation and Reference Systems Service is responsible for adding on occasional leap seconds.


  1. Blue whale
  2. The world
  3. Trees
  4. Sahara Desert
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