Into the Deep

May 26, 2010

Brit Trogen

brit trogen


The ocean is fascinating; deep, dark, and filled with all kinds of mysterious creatures whose secrets we haven’t even begun to probe. And most of all, it holds the secrets to evolution. It’s the birthplace of all life on earth, though whether that life began in deep-sea ocean vents, shallow pools, or something else entirely is still a point of hot debate.

But while many questions remain, it still seems like we turn up all kinds of amazing answers from the watery depths.

Like, for example, fossils of a nursery of the biggest sharks to ever live, with adults that once grew to 60 or 70 feet in length. The lifecycle of the shark was always hard to deduce from previously uncovered fossils, but we now know that the babies of these giant sharks, now extinct, which stretched to about six feet in length, spent this “vulnerable” stage of their life (Yeah… I know) in shallow pools to avoid predation.

And when it comes to Top 10 lists, Dave’s got some competition from the deep blue. Arizona State University’s International Institute for Species Exploration recently released their list for 2009, which included, among others, a fanged minnow, a psychedelic frogfish, and a carnivorous sponge. Yep, a minnow with fangs. Cue Monty Python sketch.

And if you want to see some of the newest breakthroughs in marine biology studies, you don’t need to look any further than the scientists at the Gulf Oil Spill, who are employing some truly state-of-the-art technology in attempts to counter the horrific damage.

Yes, the ocean really is amazing. Let’s hope we can learn to take care of it properly before it’s too late.



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