Category Archives: Underwater wonders

HOW EARTH MADE US – WATER ~ A MUST SEE VIDEO!!!

HOW EARTH MADE US_WATER

How Earth Made Us – The untold story of history.

This is part 2 in Professor Iain Stewart’s series, “How Earth Made Us”.  I highly recommend you take an hour to watch it as it is superlative!!!

Our planet has amazing power, and yet that’s rarely mentioned in our history books. This series tells the story of how the Earth has influenced human history, from the dawn of civilisation to the modern industrial age. It reveals for the first time on television how geology, geography and climate have been a far more powerful influence on the human story than has previously been acknowledged. A combination of epic story telling, visually stunning camerawork, extraordinary locations and passionate presenting combine to form a highly original version of human history.

Youtube video, “How Earth Made Us – Water”, uploaded on May 16, 2011 – Of all our planet’s forces perhaps none has greater power over us than water.  For me water is the most magical force on earth.  The presence of water shapes, renews and nourishes our planet.  It’s our planet’s life blood, that pumps through it continuously…

Water

This time he explores our complex relationship with water. Visiting spectacular locations in Iceland, the Middle East and India, Iain shows how control over water has been central to human existence. He takes a precarious flight in a motorised paraglider to experience the cycle of freshwater that we depend on, discovers how villagers in the foothills of the Himalayas have built a living bridge to cope with the monsoon, and visits Egypt to reveal the secret of the pharaohs’ success. Throughout history, success has depended on our ability to adapt to and control constantly shifting sources of water.

Discover why societies have succeeded or failed, and how the environment has influenced every aspect of our history from art to industry, religion to war, world domination or collapse. Visiting some of the most iconic places on Earth, How Earth Made Us overturns preconceptions about our civilisations and our cultures to offer a new perspective on who we are today.

~Youtube video presented by Professor Iain Stewart ~

Link to ~ How Earth Made Us—a masterly BBC documentary

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2012/04/eart-a21.html

 
Our heartfelt thanks to Professor Stewart
for his exceptional accomplishment!

Tall Tales in Curacao ~ love dolphins!!!

CURACAO DOLPHINS

The Youtube video, “Curacao Sea Aquarium Park”, published on May 18, 2012 is described as follows: ‘Plan a Curacao Sea Aquarium Park vacation for the entire family. Come and enjoy the daily tours at the aquarium with the sea lion show, get a chance to feed the sharks or just enjoy the exciting dolphin show. For the thrill seekers we have the submarine, Curasub, going to 1,000ft deep or interact with a dolphin up close at Dolphin Academy. And the end of the day you can stay in one of the rooms of the boutique hotel, the Dolphin Suites hotel, which is completely adapted to guests with special needs.’

With many thanks and much admiration, the following is a ‘reblog’ , dated July 22, 2013, from my very favorite blogger, Lesley Carter, of Bucket List Publications.

Tall Tales in Curacao.

I would love to be able to swim with dolphins ~ a lifelong dream of mine, so this trip has to go to the top of my bucket list ~ especially if it can be in this Curacao paradise.

THE BIZARRE AND COLOURFUL WORLD OF SEA STARS

Starfish, also known as sea stars are a ubiquitous ocean species, with around 1,800 living species occurring in all the world’s oceans, and can be found at ocean depths greater than 6,000 meters.

“The Sunflower Sea Star”  is one of OceanFutures Society’s many videos ~ Uploaded on Oct 27, 2009 – When people think of sea stars, they don’t typically think of voracious predators scouring the seabed, leaving carnage and fear in their wake, but this may simply be a matter of perspective. To the scallop or clam, this sea star is a pure nightmare. This whimsical look at one of the ocean’s less known predators may change your perception of sea stars forever. For more unique insights into the ocean realm, watch America’s Underwater Treasures, a two-hour episode of the PBS series Jean-Michel Cousteau: Ocean Adventures

Some 2,000 sea star species live throughout the world’s oceans. Some weigh as much as 11 pounds (5 kilograms) and stretch more than 2 feet (65 centimeters) across, but others are only half an inch (1 centimeter) in diameter. These animals reproduce prolifically, and some sea stars can release millions of eggs into the water for fertilization at the same time.

Starfish can go from soft (able to squeeze into small spaces) to rigid in a split second. In fact, their entire anatomy is surprisingly complex, including their nervous system.

The undersides of starfish have many tube feet capable of grasping on to things with amazing force. They work on a hydraulic water vascular system which aid the starfish’s movement – some species very slowly while others can move up to 9 feet in one minute. The tube feet are also used to grasp and deal with food.

Uploaded by on Mar 13, 2011 ~ This star fish is walking around my tank all the time, it just cruises the entire tank. Excellent to watch.

Secondly, the underside is where their mouth is located. They can swallow their prey whole and down it goes in a short esophagus to a cardiac stomach, and then on to a second pyloric stomach. But they don’t have to swallow… when dealing with prey larger than its mouth, many species of starfish can also spit out their stomachs to engulf the food and begin to digest it before pulling everything back into its body – eueew! (In this photo the sea star is eating a clam!)

Green Brittle Star at feeding time ~ Uploaded by on Nov 8, 2008.  This is my 2 year old green brittle star at feeding time.

Starfish species don’t all come with five arms. Several species have 10 to 15 arms, and some other species have as many as 50.

These bottom-dwellers play important roles in the ocean ecosystem, including keeping populations of shellfish in check, and, according to recent studies, absorbing large amounts of carbon in the world’s oceans.

Ever wonder what happens to a starfish when it is flipped upside down? ~ Uploaded by on Jun 8, 2010

CORAL REEF ALLIANCE PHOTO CONTEST

Whether or not you are a photographer, I think you will be impressed with the mission of the Coral Reef Alliance non-profit organization and you will also appreciate seeing the stunning photography submitted by former contest winners.

If you think your photography can equal or surpass some of the amazing entries seen below then definitely you should be interested in submitting your ‘winning’ photo to the ongoing Coral Reef Alliance Photo Contest.

Originally founded in 1994 to galvanize the dive community for conservation, CORAL has grown from a small, grassroots alliance into the only international nonprofit organization that works exclusively to unite communities to protect our planet’s coral reefs. We provide tools, education, and inspiration to residents of coral reef destinations to support local projects that benefit both reefs and people. We currently work in Hawaii, Mexico, Honduras, Fiji, and Indonesia.

Enter your favorite coral reef photographs in CORAL’s ongoing E-Current Contest for a chance to win a copy of Reef ~ a gorgeous coffee table book featuring beautiful coral reef photographs.

NOVEMBER CONTEST DEADLINE: October 15, 2012

Each winning photograph will be featured in an edition of E-Current, CORAL’s free electronic newsletter. The names of winning photographers will also be posted on the CORAL website with their photographs, which will be available for download as desktop wallpaper. All entrants will receive a subscription to E-Current.

Some of my favorites are:

 Winner of the May 2011 E-Current Photo Contest: Mandarinfish (Synchiropus splendidus) in Laha, Ambon, Indonesia by Christopher J. Crowley

 Winner of the January 2009 E-Current Photo Contest: Southern stingray (Dasyatis americana), Grand Cayman Island, by Jeremy Ellis 

Winner of the May 2010 E-Current Photo Contest: Spine-Cheek Anemone fish (Premnas biaculeatus), Wakatobi, Indonesia, by Matt Grace

Links ~

Site for previous winning photographs ~ http://www.coral.org/wallpaper

Photo Contest .pdf document ~

http://www.coral.org/files/pdf/photo-contest-flier.pdf

Enter contest ~

http://www.coral.org/node/3965

We hope you enjoyed your visit with us today and if you are a photographer ~ we wish you the best of luck! 
Keep your comments coming ~ we love hearing from and learning about our readers.

DAVID GALLO ~ UNDERWATER ASTONISHMENTS!!!

YOU WILL BE ABSOLUTELY AMAZED AT THE UNIQUE CAPABILITIES OF THESE UNDERWATER CREATURES!!!

http://www.ted.com David Gallo shows jaw-dropping footage of amazing sea creatures, including a color-shifting cuttlefish, a perfectly camouflaged octopus, and a Times Square‘s worth of neon light displays from fish who live in the blackest depths of the ocean. Uploaded by on Jan 14, 2008

I think the “jaw-dropping” moment they refer to happens 4 mins and 24 secs. into the video – don’t miss it!!

The wonderful octopus the ‘Wonderpus’ in Lembeh Strait, Indonesia, was uploaded by on 1 Mar 2011. Filmed in HD by The Digital Centre manager, Christian Loader. Music by Oka.   Eco Divers North Sulawesi, http://www.eco-divers.comWonderpus octopus – Lembeh Strait, Sulawesi, Indonesia.

This video, “octopus Camouflage” was uploaded to YouTube by on 2 Feb 2008

Deep sea creature‘s ability to camouflage for many reasons is absolutely fascinating!

TEDTalks is a daily video podcast of the best talks and performances from the TED Conference, where the world’s leading thinkers and doers are invited to give the talk of their lives in 18 minutes. TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, and Design, and TEDTalks cover these topics as well as science, business, politics and the arts. Watch the Top 10 TEDTalks on TED.com, at
http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/top10

When I hear David Gallo mention that 97% of the ocean’s world  has yet to be discovered, I can’t wait to see what weird and wonderful mysteries of ‘the ocean deep’ will be studied and shared with us next!  

AUSTRALIA ~ TO CREATE MARINE HAVEN ~ PART 2

In the following breathtaking video, “Australia Great Barrier Reef“, you get a glimpse into the magnitude of the thousands of species that inhabit Australia‘s surrounding ocean ~ Uploaded by on Oct 3, 2009; Music: Tiesto-A Tear in the Open, Chilling Crew-For Better Moments, Tribal Trance-Orance Leopard Moon. Quote from YouTube video information: “My intentions were to make a quality trip video. We took a 4 day liveaboard with Mike Ball Dive expeditions ending up at the amazing Osprey Reef. The diving was incredible.”
This is a truly spectacular video and a must see in FULL SCREEN.  I am so envious of the divers who experience this thrill of a lifetime!

Some interesting data about the species that inhabit the waters of Australia’s ocean and the Great Barrier Reef ~

The Great Barrier Reef is the largest coral reef in the world. It consists of more than 2,900 coral reefs, 600 continental islands, 300 coral cays and thousands of species making it one of the world’s most complex and diverse ecosystems. The animals of the Great Barrier Reef include some 1500 species of marine fish, 360 species of hard corals, between 5000 and 8000 species of mollusks, 600 species of echinoderms, 17 species of sea snakes, 1500 species of sponges, 30 species of whales and dolphins, 6 species of marine turtles, 22 species of seabirds and 32 species of shorebirds which breed on the reef’s many small islands.

Marine Fish of the Great Barrier Reef

There are more than 1500 species of fish that inhabit the Great Barrier Reef. They range in size from the tiny gobies, some of which weigh less than one gram, to the larger bony fishes such as the tuskfish and potato cod, to the massive cartilaginous fishes such as manta rays, tiger sharks and whale sharks. Damselfish, wrasses and tuskfish are among the most abundant fishes on the reef. Other fish of the Great Barrier Reef include blennies, butterfly fish, triggerfish, cowfish, pufferfish, angelfish, anemone fish, coral trout, seahorses, sea perch, sole, scorpion fish, hawkfish and surgeonfish.

Hard Corals of the Great Barrier Reef

The Great Barrier Reef is home to about 360 species of hard corals including bottlebrush coral, bubble coral, brain coral, mushroom coral, staghorn coral, tabletop coral and needle coral. Hard corals, also known as stony corals, are a group of marine animals that live in shallow tropical waters and are responsible for building the structure of a coral reef. Colonies of hard corals grow in various shapes and sizes such as mounds, plates and branches. As previous coral colonies die, new ones grow on top of the limestone skeletons of their predecessors. Over time, this growth creates the three-dimensional architecture of a coral reef. Colonies of hard corals consist of thousands of small individual invertebrates referred to as coral polyps. Each polyp is radially symmetrical with a tube-like body that has a tentacle-rimmed mouth at the tip that it uses to feed.

Sponges and Echinoderms of the Great Barrier Reef

Over 600 species of echinoderms and more than 1500 species of sponges inhabit the Great Barrier Reef.

Echinoderms are bottom-dwelling marine invertebrates. They exhibit a type of radial symmetry called pentamerous symmetry in which their body can be divided into five equal parts around a central axis. The echinoderms of the Great Barrier Reef include sea urchins, sea cucumbers, sea stars, feather stars and brittle stars.

Sponges of the Great Barrier Reef include the yellow burrowing sponge, tubular sponge, thick yellow fan sponge.

Marine Reptiles of the Great Barrier Reef

There are 23 species of marine reptiles that inhabit the Great Barrier Reef including 6 species of sea turtles and 17 species of sea snakes. Occasionally, the saltwater crocodile also ventures out to forage on the reef, although such visits are quite rare.

The sea turtles that inhabit the Great Barrier Reef include the green turtle, loggerhead turtle, hawksbill turtle, flatback turtle, leatherback turtle and the Pacific ridley turtle. Some sea turtle species, such as the green turtle, loggerhead turtle and hawksbill turtle, nest on coral cays. The flatback turtle nests on continental islands and the green and leatherback turtles nest on mainland Australia. When not nesting, these sea turtle species use the waters of the Great Barrier Reef as foraging grounds.

Among the sea snakes of the Great Barrier Reef are the olive sea snake, the turtle-headed sea snake and the sea krait. All sea snakes are venomous.

Marine Mammals of the Great Barrier Reef

About 30 species of whales and dolphins frequent the waters of the Great Barrier Reef including humpback whales, Irrawaddy river dolphins, minke whales and spinner dolphins. Dugongs also inhabit the reef, feeding on the sea grasses that grow in the shallow inshore waters.

Not all of these marine mammals are permanent residents of the Great Barrier Reef. Minke whales and humpback whales visit the reef in winter. Other rorqual whales such as blue whales, fin whales and sei whales also migrate through the Great Barrier Reef region but do not stay for extended periods of time.

Mollusks of the Great Barrier Reef

More than 5000 species of mollusks live in the Great Barrier Reef. These include giant clams, cone shells, nudibranchs, octopus, cuttlefish and squid.
 
 
 
 

In this video, “Australia to create marine haven”, Australia’s Environment Minister, Tony Burke, unveils plans for the world’s largest network of protective marine parks.  Published on Jun 14, 2012 by

 

VIDEO ~ “Australia to build biggest marine reserve“, posted to YouTube by Al Jazeera‘s Andrew Thomas from Sydney, Australia on Jun 15, 2012 ~ The Australian government has announced the creation of the world’s biggest network of marine parks (3.3 million square metres), covering an overall area the size of “India”

This video, “Marine Life off Perth, Western Australia”, just released by the Ocean’s Institute, University of  Western Australia, showing a sequence of video footage captured off Perth, Western Australia.  The marine life shown in this sequence now has a brighter future thanks to the plan for marine sanctuaries off Australia’s South West. Published on Jul 4, 2012 by

 Once again, I hope you all realize how vital the work being done by the World Resources Institute Insights is and will find a way to support their efforts ~ insights.wri.org. 

SHARK WEEK 2012 ~ SWIM WITH GREAT WHITE SHARKS!

To observe Shark Week 2012, I’ve found two incredible videos to share with you that I know you will find to be entertaining and educational.

Why ‘Shark Week‘ Sells

The terror of the deep swims onto television screens this week as the Discovery Channel’s beloved ‘Shark Week’ kicked off Sunday evening. Executive producer Brooke Runnette explains the 25-year success of the Discovery Channel event ~ “The Discovery Channel works with scientists across the world to produce the programming that has made Shark Week the staple of every shark enthusiast’s summer. Runnette says marine biologists often pitch ideas to her and the network provides funding for their projects. Discovery Channel also works with the Ocean and Pew Charitable Trusts to sponsor legislation and public service announcements to promote shark conservation.”  ~ excerpt from: http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2012/08/14/why-shark-week-sells

You will probably be amazed by the wealth of information about the great white sharks shared in the following video ~ CNN’S Anderson Cooper on Assignment for 60 minutes ~ YouTube video, “The Sharkman”  Uploaded by CBSNewsOnline on Jul 24, 2011.

Anderson Cooper dives unprotected with great white sharks and Michael Rutzen, known as “The Sharkman”, a South African who’s spent more time up close with the ocean’s most feared predator than anyone else.

According to Rutzen ,”the great white sharks are far from mindless killing machines – great whites are smart, curious and not out to kill humans.”  He says that when looking for a great white shark he can swim with, he needs one who is calm, curious and one he refers to as a ‘player’ – so relaxed, has a nice personality and woke up on the ‘right side of the reef’.

Another amazing video from YouTube ~ “THE SHARKMAN – Micheal Rutzen Hitches Ride On A Great White Shark“.

Michael Rutzen plunges freely with a great white shark. Rutzen eats, sleeps, breathes and dreams of sharks and is on a one-man crusade to prove that rather than being the crazed man-eater from Jaws they are in fact sociable and approachable creatures to anyone who understands their body language. Uploaded by on Aug 22, 2009

I trust that you enjoyed these videos and will share. Let’s hear from you ~ we appreciate your feedback.

NUDIBRANCHS UPDATE ~ INCREDIBLE FACTS AND VIDEOS

Since I first posted “NUDIBRANCHS – SAY WHAT?”,  May 14, 2012), I’ve found the time to delve further into these fascinating and exotic ocean creatures.  You will be thrilled and amazed with the facts shared on these YouTube videos and the awesome video footage from around the world (Indonesia, Philippines, Bali)

First a few very interesting facts:

Nudibranch ~ means “naked gills”
Nudibranchs ~ are sea slugs
~ are beautifully colored tiny vessels of danger
~ store toxins/stinging cells they steal from their prey
~ more than 3,000 species
~ range in length from 1/4 inch to over 1 foot
~ are hermaphrodites (meaning they have both male and female sex organs)
~ are found in oceans from Antarctica to the tropics

I won’t overload you with information, for as they say, “a picture is worth a thousand words”.

“Nudibranchs”, by Jean-Michel Cousteau, Ocean Adventures ~uploaded by on Dec 5, 2008 ~ “They might be tiny, but nudibranchs can pack a poisonous punch. Learn more about these extraordinary creatures”.

 

This next video is amazing ~ the music, “The Tahiti Trot” is very artistically adapted to the bizarre antics of the nudibranchs  ~ an award winner in my opinion!!!

Colorful nudibranchs in Lembeh Indonesia” ~ uploaded by  Delveroudis on Jul 5, 2010 ~ “… But they are the most colorful creatures on Earth and their body patterns exceed the imagination of the best designers on the planet.”

“Nudebranches of Amed – Bali Reef Divers – Dive Bali” ~ uploaded by on Nov 9, 2010 ~ courtesy of Hero Productions ~ “These nudibranches were seen around Amed and Tulamben this season… wide variety of nudibranchs species around here… Night dives at Jemeluk are also a great opportunity to see these creatures!”

http://www.balireefdivers.com

OMG!!! GREAT WHITE SHARK VERSUS SEA KAYAKER

Before we get to the “OMG” video of this blog I thought I’d share  some amazing background information, featured on the Discovery Chanel video uploaded to YouTube, on the great white shark -  length, weight, speed of travel, nature, favorite foods -”triple hot fudge ice-cream sundae with 3 cherries on top” (SAY WHAT??  I’m sure glad to hear that I taste like a lima bean!

The following is a YouTube video ‘Great White Shark’, uploaded by on Aug 30, 2007 – great white sharks leap out of the water in pursuit of their favorite food.

Breaching (fish and mammals jumping out of the water)

Cape Town, South Africa, “Great White Shark Jumping”.  A shark attacks a seal at Seal Island  – airborne shark jumps out off water 12′ – another YouTube video uploaded by on Sep 22, 2007.

In the past I’ve posted a few blogs concerning: The Great Barrier Reef; and Our Coral Reefs are in Crisis.  I have just learned about the very important role that great white sharks play in the life of the coral reefs.

Having received permission of the Coral Reef Alliance, I would like to share excerpts of their article, “CORAL Campaigns to Protect Sharks” (link provided at end of blog) with you:

Sharks are commonly misunderstood and widely feared. These remarkable animals, however, are incredibly important for overall ocean health and, in particular, for coral reefs.

Sharks are often “apex” or top predators, helping to regulate species abundance and diversity while maintaining balance throughout an ecosystem. Studies have shown that coral reef ecosystems with high numbers of apex predators tend to have greater biodiversity and higher densities of individual species.

The loss of apex predators in a reef ecosystem upsets the natural food web and changes the composition of the reef community, eventually leading to the decline of critical reef species like herbivorous fish. With fewer herbivores, algae can become overgrown, suffocating the reef and reducing the number of available niches for fish species. In addition to being important for overall ecosystem health, sharks are also valuable to the tourism industry and to the economic health of coral reef destinations.

Despite their ecologic and economic value, shark populations are declining at an alarming rate. Roughly thirty percent of shark species are threatened or nearly threatened with extinction, and the status of another roughly fifty percent is unclear due to insufficient data.

NOW WHAT YOU’VE WAITED FOR – THE “OMG’ PORTION of this blog - click on link below photo

“A fishing trip off the coast of Australia takes a frightening turn when a great white shark starts harassing a sea kayaker” Discovery Channel “Outdoor Thrills” – Untamed and uncut.

http://dsc.discovery.com/videos/outdoor-thrill-videos/

Link to the Coral Reef Alliance (a most worthy cause!) web site -

http://www.coral.org/sharks

NUDIBRANCHS – “SAY WHAT?”

 I really don’t know what I’d do without my e-mail account.  I’ve just discovered interesting information that I’d like to share with you about another amazing colourful mollusc-like marine creature, known as a “nudibranch” (pronouced NEW-dih-bronk) 

“Just what are nudibranchs?”, you might ask.

The nudibranchs are ocean bottom-dwelling, shell-less mollusks featuring featherlike gills and horns mostly found on their backs and are part of the sea slug family. They are noted for their often extraordinary colors and striking forms.

Nudibranchs are usually oblong in shape and measure anywhere from ¼ inch to 12 inches.

Nudibranchs are carnivores that graze on corals, anemones, algae, barnacles and sponges. To identify prey, Two extremely sensitive tentacles (‘rhinophores’) on top of their heads help them locate their food sources., called rhinophores, located on top of their heads.

The colour of the nudibranchs is retained from the food they digest.  This colouring and poisons they keep from their prey help the nubdibranchs protect themselves from predators.

Nudibranchs lifespans vary with some living under a month, and others living up to one year.



Related links -

SMH article ‘Underwater Wonders on Mail Run’:

http://www.smh.com.au/victoria/underwater-wonders-on-mail-run-20120507-1y7vw.html

Aquatic Community.com:

http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/sw/nudibranch.php

Article in National Geographic:

http://animals.nationalgeographic.com/animals/invertebrates/nudibranch/