“The biggest danger in sailing is not the open ocean. It's hitting things." - John Moffitt

Saturday, October 31, 2009

I recently finished a book titled "Devil's Teeth" by Susan Casey. It's about an island off the coast of Northern California that is annually inhabited by great white sharks. It opened my eyes to a few things, and reaffirmed some thoughts I've had about the ocean. Reading this book was very informative, but I'm afraid it only solitified my fear of floating in the middle of the ocean. I'd rather be locked under a house (!) than dropped in the middle of the ocean for an hour, floating among weird sea creatures that have razor skin.

Bet you didn't know that a White Shark's skin is literally made of tiny teeth, and just petting one can draw blood. Did you know, that no one knows how, or where great white's mate? No one knows how long they live, either. Or how big they get. They are one of the world's greatest predators and we don't know basic information about them. We do know, however, that a great white is usually about 18 feet long, eight feet wide, and six feet deep.

Okay, but how about blue whales? Freaking BLUE WHALES! They are the largest creatures on earth! They are over a hundred feet long, and weigh almost 200 tons! And they are just floating around in the ocean. If they ran into you, they wouldn't even feel it.

Did you know that no one knew how Humpback whales mated until the '80's when some bloke spotted them? FYI: they do their mating in threesomes, with one acting like an assistant. They're too big to MATE on their own.
And just so we are all aware: whales don't usually leap out of the water like Shamu just because. It's actually a way to get rid of parasites. Mmmm!

Squid can change color to camoflouge, but also can make themselves bright white in order to attract prey.  They are quick thinkers and are known to swim in the opposite direction of the nets they are caught in.I am convinced that all of our modern day thoughts of what aliens are, come from squid. I am also convinced that squids are aliens.

Urchins crawl on the ocean ground, they don't just sit there.

Shrimp can live in highly toxic and polluted waters. And we're EATING them. Seriously, have we ever really looked at a live shrimp? Who decided to eat it?

And jellyfish! Are they an animal or an element? One type of jellyfish gets up to 100 feet wide! And they usually end up eating each other.

Seals are not the cute cuddly things you see on greeting cards. They are huge, dirty balls of blubber that hiss when you get too close. Hiss. They eat rocks. No one knows why, but they freaking eat rocks. And they have flies that live in their anus'.

(I do, however, find this picture hilarious)

Maybe I'm overreacting. But I can't help being freaked out by the fact that their are monsters living among us. Monsters that are so elusive, we don't know basic things about their lifestyles. That's crazy to me. And also terrifying. And alluring. But really terrifying.


  1. Have you ever seen the planet earth series? It's amazing! There is a whole section on it about urchins eating away kelp forests. They are destructive little suckers.
    PS: If I ever get big enough that I have to have an assistant in order to mate, please shoot me, thanks.

  2. Very informative. If I had a snorkel, I'd be throwing it away right now.

  3. Okay, THANK YOU for reaffirming the point I am always trying to make! Sea creatures are so freaking scary. I always say that we have explored more of space than we have the oceans. There are giant squids out there that could swallow boats whole. It is ridiculously frightening to think about being in the middle of the ocean. And why have we NEVER talked about this before?!


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