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Invented as a plot device in the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams it instantly solved the problem of the human character not reasonably being able to understand alien languages for the duration of his adventures. Adams described as:
A small, yellow, leech-like fish that converts the unconscious frequencies of the brain into audio waves. When it is stuck inside someone's ear, it allows the wearer to understand anything said to them in any language.
It is also expanded upon as the final clinching proof of the non-existence of god by dint of its unreasonably fabulous usefulness and the unlikelihood that such a live thing could exist by accident.
It is something of a jibe at the creationism method of reasoning that says anything of sufficient complexity can only be the product of a divine creator.