The Astonishing Elegance of Deep Sea Plankton, in Photography
by Owen James Burke
Left to right: a paddle worm, spider crab larva and Maja Squinado, a migratory crab species found in the Atlantic and Mediterranean
Dr. Richard Kirby is a plankton biologist at Plymouth University who has spent the better part of his career studying and photographing plankton. His book, Ocean Drifters: A Secret World Beneath the Waves, puts the animals under a microscope and, while explaining their important role within the food chain, exhibits how the particular detail of their beauty becomes stunningly apparent when they’re positioned beneath a microscope.
Above: a juvenile spiny lobster, looking a bit like a desert scorpion
Despite its elegant display of cilia (small hair-like appendages used for stabilizing) this curious looking microscopic creature is actually a worm larva.
“If you’ve ever swallowed seawater while swimming you will almost certainly have engulfed some plankton too, just like a baleen whale.”
Purchase Ocean Drifters on Amazon.
Here’s a coinciding short film narrated by Sir David Attenborough by the same title:
Read more at the Daily Mail — OB