A friend of the LoCO texts to ask why the statue at the corner of Eighth and G streets in Arcata is lying on the ground today.

We do not know, and neither, at the moment, does Cliff Poulton, the city of Arcata’s superintendent of public works. When we called a few minutes ago, Poulton said that news of the iconic statue’s fall from grace had not yet reached his ears. He said that he would hustle over and investigate.

While he does, perhaps we can settle something: What does the statue represent? If memory serves, there is some sort of official signage that declares it to be the tail of a whale. Your Lost Coast Outpost has never bought it. My colleague Andrew Goff declares it to be the arm of a Tyrannosaurus Rex. I have always thought it somehow parasitical in nature, and I believe I have now found the answer: It is a statue of a cercaria of the genus Trichobilharzia, responsible for swimmer’s itch: