A Matter of Scale!
At first it looked like an ordinary lizard. “A garden lizard,” said Elaine Barrow, 13. “I see them all the time. This one had a slightly different color, more like camouflage, not green.”
Barrow’s mother, Dr. Jacqueline Barrow, a noted herpetologist, came to sit next to the garden with her daughter and look at the lizard.
“It looked normal at first,” said Dr. Barrow. “It darted from side to side.”
But then everything changed.
“It went up on its back legs and blew fire out of its mouth,” said Dr. Barrow.
“I screamed,” said Elaine. “My mom went in closer with a magnifying glass and a notepad.”
THE NEXT DAY
The next day, the Barrows set up a canny trap to collect a bit of skin from the lizard. “We put a bunch of flies in a bowl and then a low wire overhead. When the lizard stood up, it scraped the wire with its head, and left trace amounts of skin.”
Dr. Barrow sent the collected flesh to a colleague in Paris. “She sent it to a colleague in Cairo, who sent it to a colleague in Tokyo. The colleague in Tokyo returned it to the colleague in Paris, who was the right person all along, and at that point we received lab results that gave us pause.”
It turned out that the lizard from the Barrows’ yard was not a common lizard at all, but a miniature Godzilla. “We were gobsmacked,” said Dr. Barrow, who is not British. “But the markers on this lizard skin confirmed beyond any shadow of any doubt that this is a tiny little Godzilla.”
By then, Elaine Barrow had taken the lizard, which she had named “Marty,” in as a pet, and put it in a small cage. “When I found out it was a miniature Godzilla,” said Elaine, “I built a little Lego city for him. I didn’t make it look like Tokyo or anything specific, because I didn’t want to upset anyone. It is upsetting, I think, to know that there’s a radioactive monster out to get your city. Is there pride in it, too? It’s hard to say. At any rate, I built it for Marty. He loves stomping around and shooting his fire breath into it.”
MAJOR DISCOVERY BUT ALSO
“This is a major scientific discovery, of course,” said Dr. Barrow. “But I also want to stipulate that Elaine and Marty are very cute together.”