Today is World Oceans Day, a global day of ocean celebration and collaboration for a better future. A healthy world ocean is critical to our survival. Together, let’s honor, help protect, and conserve the world’s oceans!
1. While the Earth’s oceans are known as five separate entities, there is really only one ocean.
2. The ocean contains upwards of 99% of the world’s biosphere, that is, the spaces and places where life exists.
3. Jellyfish are soft because they are 95% water and are mostly made of a translucent gel-like substance called mesoglea. With such delicate bodies, jellyfish rely on thousands of venom-containing stinging cells called cnidocytes for protection and prey capture.
4. Plastics & litter that make their way into our oceans are swiftly carried by currents, ultimately winding up in huge circulating ocean systems called gyres. The earth has five gyres that act as gathering points, but the largest of all is known as the ‘Great Pacific Garbage Patch’ and has grown so immense that the oceanic garbage patch can shift from around the size of Texas, to something the size of the United States.
5.The 200 or so species of octopuses are mollusks belonging to the order Cephalopoda, Greek for ‘head-feet’. Those heads contain impressively large brains, with a brain to body ratio similar to that of other intelligent animals, and a complex nervous system with about as many neurons as that of a dog.
6. Some lucky animals are naturally endowed with bioluminescence, or the ability to create light. The firefly, the anglerfish, and a few more surprising creatures use this ability in many ways, including survival, hunting, and mating.
The Glass Squid spends most of it’s life in partially sunlit, shallow waters where it’s glass-like transparency aids in it’s camoflouge. Many species are bioluminescent and have light organs underneath their eyes which are used to cancel out shadows. The only internal organ visible is a digestive gland which is equivalent to the mammalian liver.
Warnings for this chapter: Uh, lots of angst. Annnd it only gets worse from there kiddies. Sanity slippage. Descriptions of sickness/injuries. There is vomiting, nothing graphic but it happens. Reference to past abuse/torture.
Also I went back and added something to the first chapter about Stan’s lighter. It’s not big, but I just wanted there to be consistency for this chapter. I do what I want! Thanks once again to my sister, farfallavendetta, for being a great editor! -
“Come on Stan, wake up,” Ford muttered, desperation creeping into his voice. His brother remained unconscious, chest rising and falling with labored breaths. Everything was silent, save for the rhythmic dripping of water from stalactites. Although Stan was unconscious, Ford knew he wasn’t alone. Those eyes watched his every move, as if observing an entertaining stage play. Ford felt the bubble of terror expand within him, his mind quaking with the darkness that lurked at its edges.
“No, no, no… n-not yet…” he whispered to himself, and partly to whatever was listening. He could not allow himself to succumb to the darkness yet, not when Stan was in such dire straits. Learning to compartmentalize, ignore, and disassociate thoughts was something he had learned to do throughout the course of his research into the supernatural. It had proved a valuable defense mechanism on more than one occasion. So he did that now, sinking into himself, concentrating on repressing his dread at the abominations sliding over the ceiling. It wouldn’t last that long, a part of him knew madness was rising like high tide in his mind. He focused his thoughts on Stan. Your brother needs you. Help him now. That’s the most important thing.
Violet blanket octopus (Tremoctopus violaceus) is an example of extreme sexual dimorphism in a species: females can be up to 2m in length whereas males are a tiny 1-2cm creatures. Jewelled Umbrella squid (Histioteuthis bonnellii).The jewels of this squid are bioluminescent photophores that cover its body and provide the most beautiful play of colours in deep see.
From: Mollusques méditeranéens by Jean Baptiste Vérany (1851)
New Research: Bioluminescence Evolved Frequently in Fish
New research shows that bioluminescence—a phenomenon in which organisms generate visible light through a chemical reaction—evolved many more times among marine fishes, and likely throughout the entire tree of life, than previously thought. In a study published in the journal PLOS ONE today, scientists from the American Museum of Natural History, St. Cloud State University, and the University of Kansas reveal that bioluminescence evolved 27 times in marine ray-finned fishes—and 29 times if sharks and rays are counted.
“Our findings completely change how we look at the evolution of bioluminescence across all life,” said John Sparks, curator-in-charge of the Museum’s Department of Ichthyology and a co-author of the paper, which is the first to explore how frequently bioluminescence evolved in vertebrates. “This suggests that we need to take a closer look at the evolution and diversification of other lineages with bioluminescent members.”