Thursday, November 22, 2012

A Sea of Mystery

So sorry that I haven't written anything in a while. Life's been quite hectic lately, to put it simply. A lot of people have been asking me lately what my views on Auburn are since I've applied there and such. Well, I don't know. I really just have no idea. Like no idea. I have hunches every now and then on what I should do, but never a pressing, undeniable, adamant, "Yes, I need to stay where I am," or, "I need to move on to Auburn." I'm going to keep praying about it. Thinking about it on my own is just going to make me go insane. I mean, more insane.
For those of you who don't know, the ocean is a mysterious and dangerous place. Let's face it. We might as well go ahead and call it another planet. This body of water is filled with all kinds of weird and alien-like organisms. The surface of the moon has been more traversed than the Earth's ocean floor. In short, we have no idea as humans what's going on down there in "our" seas. Hopefully I can illuminate as much as I can to the public what I already know/what I learn along my way. 
I will attempt to delight you with a few marine organisms you may have never learned about in detail, let alone heard of or seen. You may have heard of a certain organism before, but maybe never actually known about them. Let the education begin!

Humboldt Squid

The very elusive Humboldt squid.
How can I begin to tell you about the Humboldt squid...What an interesting animal to learn about! They usually live in the ocean depths; however, they rise up to the surface of the water at night to feed and do other mysterious things. They are extremely violent and attack not only their prey, which could be each other, but also divers and even boats. Scientists also think they have complex forms of communication via chromatophores in their skin. These chromatophores are known to change colors very quickly. The squid flash from red to white back and forth like a strobe light. There are different sequences, probably filled with messages to one another pertaining to who knows what. Hunting? Their stance with each other, whether it be civil or evil? Mating intentions? It could be many things. In southern California and Mexico the local fishermen call the Humboldt squid the "diablo rojo" or "red devil." Not many scientists and cameramen are courageous or crazy enough to jump into the water with these guys. Think about it, you're in the ocean amidst multitudes of cannibalistic squid darting at 15 mph. Oh, and they're known for attacking humans on the drop of a hat for no reason. I'd consider the Humboldt more frightening than sharks if you ask me.

Mola Mola (Ocean Sunfish)

The mola mola sunfish.

The mola mola is one of 3 species of sunfish. I've personally never seen such a marine animal quite like it. They are called many different names; the French call them moon fish, the Germans the swimming head, and the Taiwanese even call it the toppled car fish. I like the swimming head name the best! The mola mola is considered the largest bony fish in the world, weighing up to over 2 tons. Its skin feels like sandpaper (like a ray or a shark), but covered in a layer of slimy mucus. The mola mola is actually the most common species of sunfish; its cousins are very rare and seldom seen by humans. Their skin can be completely white, to freckled, to strikingly spotted patterns. These fish become extremely infested with parasites as well. They will invite other smaller fish and even birds to come onto their skin and eat the parasites. Some people have even seen them breaching to shake the pests. Now that'd be a sight to see. Their diet consists of jellyfish, algae, and other small planktonic organisms. Obviously they swim extremely awkwardly. I mean, come on, just look at their appearance! I would definitely call these guys gentle giants. No attacks on humans have ever been recorded. They are more curious than anything, readily approaching divers. I would love to swim with one someday.

Flying Fish

A flying fish, well, flying.

We've all heard of them at least once in our lives. I didn't know that they actually existed until a few years ago; I thought it was all just stories. These fish don't literally fly, however. Sorry to burst your bubble! They glide over the water more than anything. They can get enough height and speed to regularly land on ship decks, though. Just imagine sailing on a yacht in the middle of the ocean and all of the sudden it starts raining fish. Now that's what I call a vacation. Anyway, these fish have diet of mainly plankton and other small organisms. There are about 40 different species of flying fish, and they aren't endangered or anything like that. To "fly," they will build up a lot of speed in the water (over 30 mph) right before they break through the water's surface. Once they break through, they sort of wiggle their tail back and forth to gain speed. The longest recorded "flight time" for a flying fish is just over 1,300 feet. What a distance!

The ocean is full of mystery and wonder. So many gorgeous and fascinating creatures cover this planet and fill its seas; we are so fortunate to have this much knowledge about our world. I believe we will never fully realize the extent of the ocean's diversity in my lifetime, or maybe even ever. 
God's creation, not only in the ocean but in general, is so interesting and telling of His power. It sounds weird, but learning about this earth and its biological contents can be a form of worship. Just sitting back and seeing how many wonderful things He has made really puts life into perspective. I must be a legitimate science nerd if I'm worshiping through it! 
Just think about it. Wouldn't it be something if we came to know the full extent of the living things in the seas of mystery? 

Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Stumbleupon Favorites More

Powered by Blogger