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Shiny things collected by an easily distracted marine biologist. There will likely be fish, critters, science, other people's art, fannish stuffs (mostly of a science fictiony, Sherlocky, or cartoonish nature), teapots, things that make me laugh, and occasionally, kids.
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(via What Killed The Giant Oarfish In California - Business Insider)
It’s thought that oarfish are not actually all that strong of swimmers. They hang vertically in the water - head up, tail down - and undulate their dorsal fins to move around, a bit like a sea horse. So unusual currents pushing them into unaccustomed shallow areas may well have been the culprit. Staff at the Southwest Fisheries Science Center, whose staff got to dissect one of them, seems to agree with Deep Sea News, as otherwise it seemed fairly healthy and in good condition.
Jumbo squid ARE fairly strong swimmers, and they manage to beach themselves here in Southern California pretty regularly.
mOARFISH, moar problems?
Just this past week, the beaches of Southern California and Baja Mexico have been inundated by monsters from the briny deep. Well actually only one monster, the Oarfish. But it was two separate incidents! Of course you only need two data points to make a trend, so clearly there must be something wrong with the … → Read More: mOARFISH, moar problems? http://dlvr.it/4BM6ln
Some reasons why two oarfish might have beached themselves in So. CA in the past week…passing this on to my coworkers who’ve been discussing it.
Could everybody stop falling into the hoax that the Fukushima power plant has contaminated all of the pacific ocean?
Not only has snopes confirmed that the hoax is false but National Geographic has run two features in the past month that are much more informative and well-researched.
Most of the radiation being leaked into the Pacific Ocean is cesium-134, which has a half-life of only two years. Cesium goes in and out of the body like salt, and has had effect on marine populations near Japanese fisheries, however most of the banned sea food is slowly being made acceptable for public consumption.
The real issue now is that some leaks of strontium-90 have been discovered, which is a radioactive substance that stays in the bones of fish and human beings, however much of what has been leaked is cesium.
Now, I am not saying that Fukushima is not an emergency. It is. In fact, that is what is has been classified as by officials. However, we’re not all going to drop dead in five years from eating a pacific fish yet. The Japanese government is spending lots of money to prevent further leakage of radioactive substance.
But the posts you’ve surely seen going around tumblr telling everybody that we’re going to drop dead from consuming milk, fish, vegetables, etc, are totally false! They are taking what is an existing issue and turning it into a crisis.
Whether most of us want to admit it or not, Tumblr is just as bad a source of information as Facebook can be! Don’t trust everything you read, and don’t trust second party news sites! There are people out there who just want to scare you, or make a sensation.
…and I have a FB friend (an old high school aquaintance) who’s been waxing paranoid about just this. You probably should be more worried about mercury.
(Source: reiryugazacki, via scinerds)
Water has structure. We just aren’t normally in a place to see it.
Here ya go, Dread…
Someone yesterday posted something about the source of The Bloop sound, which the middle fry is interested in, but did I reblog or even like? No, and the Tumblr river flows ever onward, never to be seen again. But Google is still my friend, at least until next year when they want to sell all my web history or something, so here it is, straight from the horse’s mouth. NOAA, that is, so it must be seahorses…
Ice Blossoms of the Arctic Ocean
It was three, maybe four o’clock in the morning when he first saw them. Grad student Jeff Bowman was on the deck of a ship; he and a University of Washington biology team were on their way back from the North Pole. It was cold outside, the temperature had just dropped, and as the dawn broke, he could see a few, then more, then even more of these little flowery things, growing on the frozen sea.
They aren’t flowers, of course. They are more like ice sculptures that grow on the border between the sea and air. On Sept. 2, 2009, the day Jeff’s colleague Matthias Wietz took these pictures, the air was extremely cold and extremely dry, colder than the ocean surface. When the air gets that different from the sea, the dryness pulls moisture off little bumps in the ice, bits of ice vaporize, the air gets humid — but only for a while. The cold makes water vapor heavy. The air wants to release that excess weight, so crystal by crystal, air turns back into ice, creating delicate, feathery tendrils that reach sometimes two, three inches high, like giant snowflakes. The sea, literally, blossoms…
(read more: NPR) (photos: Matthias Wieitz)
Do marine science from home, because scuba diving is hard!
From the folks that brought you GalaxyZoo, a crowdsourced, citizen science project to catalogue and annotate Hubble Space Telescope images, comes Seafloor Explorer.
Whether you’re an armchair marine biologist or not, Seafloor Explorer is a neat way to help identify and classify the marine species living off the Northeast Coast of the U.S. A robotic craft called HabCam has been swimming over huge swaths of the northern Atlantic shallows taking pictures of whatever is beneath it. That’s where you come in.
Using a simple interface, you look through some of the thousands of images, identify the kind of ground cover (sand, shells, gravel, etc.) and count and measure the living species you see. There’s a nice tutorial on their site to show you how it’s done. I’ve found many, many shells and a few fish so far (plus a boatload of sand).
Science is part everyone’s world, and everyone should be able to take part. It’s so awesome to see projects like this that let citizens like you and me participate. Take a deep breath and get to clicking!
Neat project! Do they have a field guide to ID fish from the top?* Although I’m pretty sure that’s a cod - I used to be a fisheries observer in the Gulf of Maine, so I’ve got that one down.
*Reminds me of a birder I used to know who said he was going to publish a field guide to identifying birds from their butts - because that’s what the majority of his bird photography consisted of…
Happy World Oceans Day!
They cover most of our planet. They are home to the vast majority of life on Earth, much of which we haven’t even discovered. They are mostly unexplored, mysterious dark depths teeming with curiosities. They are the sites where new parts of our planet are born.
They are our oceans. And many of them are in trouble.
Find out how you can help here. If you’d like to spend your day filling your brain with ocean facts (you know you do), there’s a simply amazing tidal wave of knowledge over on Twitter at the #oceanfacts tag today. Go learn ya somethin’.
Bonus: To celebrate World Oceans Day in a particularly beautiful way, revisit this Van Gogh-esque NASA visualization of the ocean’s currents: Perpetual Ocean.