Thursday, April 28, 2016

Sea Monsters

Today's jam is sea monssssters.

There are plenty of them and some are real. For instance, the Adelie penguin's mouth. (This picture below is from National Geographic not fan fiction of H.P. Lovecraft's "giant albino eyeless penguins" from At The Mountains of Madness. )

Imagine being a fish. This is a fish's Greek myth.

Of course the sea is full of monsters. We landlubbers know more about the surface of the Moon. The sea primordial takes up 75% of the Earth yet "less than 0.05 of the ocean floor has been mapped." Shiver. What's down there?

[Follow NOAA's Ocean Explorer on Twitter for live updates.]

To make it the unknown knowable we give it a name: Shoggoth, for instance. Or Scylla. Or Charybdis. Or all the names in the Peterson Field Guide to The Atlantic Seashore.  Neat and tidy classifications of the world and all that creepeth. We're not monsters. They are.

We have cute things like last year's Cephaloparty hosted by Science Friday to honor the great unknowability/majesty of the octopus and we have Earth Day, and World Oceans Day and Save the turtles! Don't release you balloons! campaigns.

But in the case of coral bleaching and ocean acidification (on which there is an international symposium coming up May 3-6 in Tasmania,  the 4th International Symposium on the Ocean in a High-CO2 World #OHCO2W) it's becoming clear that it's us, not them with their tentacles; we are the ones who can be true monsters.

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