Ocean entry and lava delta formation, Hawaii


(via Monterey Bay Aquarium (@montereybayaquarium) • Instagram photos and videos)

This balloon sponge is a new undescribed species of carnivorous sponge in the genus Chondrocladia. It is unusual to see it near lava formations, as it is normally found on sedimented abyssal plains. MBARI researchers found this individual in the northwest Pacific, off the Washington/Oregon coast. Carnivorous sponges snare their prey—tiny shrimp-like animals—with barbed hooks that cover the sponge’s branching limbs. Once the sponge has its prey in its clutches, it envelops the animal in a thin membrane, and then slowly begins to digest it.⠀

The Blue Lagoon geothermal spa is one of the most visited attractions in Iceland. The steamy waters are part of a lava formation. The warm waters are rich in minerals like silica and sulphur and bathing in the Blue Lagoon is reputed to help some people suffering from skin diseases. The water temperature in the bathing and swimming area of the lagoon averages 37-39 °C.

anonymous asked:

Did you know that much of the ocean's food chain depends on the moon? Algae move towards moonlight to the surface in the evening, and creatures who feed on them go after them, so on and so forth.

Originally posted by haidaspicciare

Well, you learn something new every day!  Here are some more ocean facts!

1. For starters, did you know that 94 percent of life on Earth is aquatic? That makes us land-dwellers a very small minority.

2. About 70 percent of the planet is ocean, with an average depth of more than 12,400 feet. Given that photons (light) can’t penetrate more than 330 feet below the water’s surface, most of our planet is in a perpetual state of darkness.

3. Fifty percent of the United States (in terms of our complete legal jurisdiction, which includes ocean territory) lies below the ocean.

4. The deep sea is the largest museum on Earth: There are more artifacts and remnants of history in the ocean than in all of the world’s museums, combined.

5. We have only explored less than 5 percent of the Earth’s oceans. In fact, we have better maps of Mars than we do of the ocean floor (even the submerged half of the United States).

6. The longest mountain range in the world is under water. Called the Mid-Oceanic Ridge, this chain of mountains runs through the middle of the Atlantic Ocean and into the Indian and Pacific oceans. It runs more than 35,000 miles long, has peaks higher than those in the Alps and it comprises 23 percent of the Earth’s total surface.

7. We didn’t send divers down to explore the Mid-Ocean Ridge until 1973 — four years after Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walked on the moon — when a French-American crew of seven entered the 9,000-foot-deep Great Rift in the French submersible Archimede.

8. The ocean boasts an array of unusual geographic features, such as pillars that reach several stories high and chimneys that send up sulphuric acid. In the ocean-floor neighborhood of the Gulf of Mexico, brine pools mark the floor, along with underwater volcanoes that spew mud and methane, rather than lava.

9. These wonderful formations aren’t barren, either. Underwater hot springs that shoot water that’s 650 degrees Fahrenheit — hot enough to melt lead — boast a profusion of life, from 10-foot tall tubeworms to giant clams that function without digestive systems.

10. Many of the rules that apply on land are turned upside down in the ocean, some literally. Beneath the surface, often not far from popular vacation beaches, are underwater lakes, waterfalls and even upside-down lakes! 

11. Much of the life in the oceans, as on land, is invisible to the naked eye. For instance, if you’ve ever swallowed a milliliter of ocean water, know that you also gulped 1 million bacteria and 10 million viruses — give or take a few. No need to worry though, swimmers around the world swallow some ocean water during their ventures into the water, without ill effects.

12. Also living on hydrothermal vents are 140- to 160-foot long jellies, which use a process called chemosynthesis (think photosynthesis, but adapted to zero sunlight) to convert the hydrothermal water into simple sugars for food. Most striking are the extremes in which the jellies live. Temperatures vary drastically near the vents, so while the tops of the jellies enjoy lows of 37 degrees, their bottoms (at the vent) bask in a toasty 392 degrees — happy as clams, or jellies, rather.

13. Extreme temperatures aren’t the only seeming barrier to life, but again, the laws below the surface differ from those above. The immense pressure of the water on a human diving to greater depths is one of the biggest hurdles to exploring the deepest parts of the oceans — yet, at depths that would crush the Titanic like a Coke can, crabs, octopuses and tubeworms go about their business.  

14. But even the more familiar ocean creatures have interesting and unexpected traits and habits. Did you know that an octopus’s speed of travel never exceeds that of the surrounding waves? That same octopus employs amazing camouflaging talents — changing color, shape, and even its texture, pattern and brightness — to blend in to its surroundings.

15. Another example is the male squid, which turns a warm brown color to attract females, or white to warn away interloping males. Most intriguing is that the male never shows its white, aggressive side to the female. In a colorful show of marine multitasking, the male squid will turn the side facing his prospective mate the welcoming brown, while simultaneously turning sideways so that she can’t see he’s made his outward-facing flank white.

I started a new series of layered photographs titled, The Sea is Always the Same. Focusing on views of the ocean and various seas instead of land formations like lava fields and faults, I expanded the places I layer from Iceland and California to other countries and cities I have visited. This image is seven layers and includes The Mediterranean off the coast of Mykonos in Greece and Crete, the Puget Sound near Seattle, the North Sea near Knokke, Belgium, Faxaflói Bay near Reykjavík, Iceland, and the Pacific Ocean here in San Francisco. I find the more layers I use, the more the completed images becomes dreamlike or like illustrated recollections.

Thanks for reading.

Photo by @shonephoto (Robbie Shone) - Hiking up Mount Etna inside the National Park in search of an unusual lava tube. This gigantic lava flow was mostly shrouded in cloud, We stopped here, to examine some twisted rope lava formations. During a pahoehoe flow the outer skin of lava cools and becomes viscous. The underlying lava is insulated and remains quite liquid. As it flows, it carries the cooler skin along with it, causing it to crumple and fold into twisted shapes. However, early in the flow, when the lava is hotter, these twists appear like ropes, but later, as it cools and becomes more viscous, the twists are shaped more like entrails. Underneath the solidifying surface, the liquid lava continues to flow, often draining out and leaving hollow cavities which later collapse. by natgeo

Gjáin in Thjorsardalur area is a lovely lush little valley, full of twisting lava, otherworldy caves and spectacular waterfalls. Gjáin simply means rift, and it was a filming location in Game of Thrones. Lush greenery, waterfalls all around you and beautiful rock formations. Here we are located right by the central highlands of Iceland and one does not expect the landscape to be so breathtaking here.

Here I am late in the evening and the sun has started to disappear behind the nearby mountains

The beautiful Djúpalónssandur beach at Snæfellsnes peninsula West Iceland with its unique shapes of the frozen lava  dominating the landscape around.

There is a peculiar rock with a hole in it called Gatklettur. Through the hole one can see Snæfellsjökull glacier in the distance