The Scuttlefish

Love the Ocean. Wish you were here.

Month: June, 2015

Last Month, California Academy of Science Researchers Discovered 100 New, Otherworldly Species off The Philippines

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Above: A slug of some sort, or so scientists say. “It was like an underwater Easter egg hunt”, said Terry Gosliner, California Academy of Sciences principal investigator on the expedition. “It was one of the most exciting scientific dives of my 50-year career.” Photo credit: California Academy of Sciences.

Over the past several weeks, researchers from the California Academy of Sciences have been gathering unnamed specimens while on expedition in the Philippines, and this past week, they announced the discovery of 100 new species, some of which look as though they were pried from the walls of modern art museums rather than the bottom of the sea.

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Divers collect curious fish specimens in the twilight zone, 150-500 feet beneath the surface. Photo credit: California Academy of Sciences.

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Wish You Were Here: The Bay of Kotor, Montenegro, “Europe’s Southernmost Fjord”

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Photo: Alexander Matyukhin/Shutterstock.

Often referred to as Europe’s southernmost Fjord, The Boka Bay, a Unesco World Heritage Site, is in fact a “drowned” river canyon around which the mountains not only build a unique landscape, but an enticing microclimate.

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The bay is protected virtually 360° by wind and weather, but also happens to be one of the wettest places in Europe. Photo: Porto Montenegro.

North of the Mediterranean’s subtropical zone, the bay is heavily protected from winter weather by the mountains to the north, allowing for an abundance of Mediterranean vegetation not typically able to grow so far north.

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“Our Lady on the Rocks”. Every year on July 22nd at sunset, locals sail out to deposit more rocks at the base of the manmade islet. Photo: Photo: Kiev.Victor/Shutterstock.

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This Is What It’s Like to Dive into a Humpback Whale Brawl

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“Not every interaction is so calm and peaceful. When you swim with whales, sometimes you get a playful juvenile, but other times you can find yourself in the middle of an all out frenzy.” Above: Four male humpback whales in a scuffle. Photo: Karim Iliya (video below).

Photographer Karim Iliya was in the waters off Vava’u in the island nation of Tonga last August when he found four male humpback whales fighting for–you guessed it–the honor of a single female.

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Photo: Karim Iliya.

“Looking back on the images that I had taken I see that the whales were looking at me, even as they fought”, recalls photographer Karim Iliya. “It is a true testament to the gentleness of these giants that they would take the time and effort to avoid crushing this tiny little creature before them.”

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The Dr. Sylvia Earle Lego Set Is Finally Here. And It’s Glorious.

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Image: 2015 LEGO GROUP/Mission Blue.

The latest addition to Lego’s female scientist minifig family is Her Deepness, Dr. Sylvia Earle (read a Scuttlefish Interview of Dr. Earle by Brian Lam here), and we couldn’t be happier.

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Image: 2015 LEGO GROUP/Mission Blue.

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Amazing Grace in a Holy City. An Unforgettable Mourning in Charleston.

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Meeting Street – Living up to its name early Friday morning. Photo: Chris Dixon

Not two weeks ago, during a vacation to England, my wife and I watched in horror and disbelief as a deranged young racist thrust our hometown onto the center of the world stage after mercilessly gunning down nine black parisioners whose only crime was to invite him into their church for a Bible study.

 

Watching events in Charleston unfold from overseas – and the subsequent reaction of Charleston was a painful, surreal and eventually, a wondrous thing to behold. The cradle of the Confederacy has, plenty of times in its storied past, come to symbolize the very worst in humanity, but over the last ten days, Charleston has revealed some of the most admirable human behavior I’ve ever seen. The stunning act of forgiveness by the victims’ families during the killer’s hearing, the crowds at Mother Emmanuel church and a long line of Charlestonians joining hands across our iconic Ravenel Bridge represented something magical – a sea change in a port city riddled with 400-year-old racial fault lines. Sitting in a camper watching the BBC on the beautiful British coast, I reckon I’ve never been so homesick for a place or a people in all my life.

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The Ravenel Bridge, Sunday a Week Ago. Photo: Mathew Fortner, The Post and Courier. 

On Friday morning, not ten hours after my plane landed, I decided to pay my respects by attending a memorial service for the 41-year-old leader of Charleston’s “Mother” Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, a state senator, pastor, husband and father of two young girls named Clemente Pinckney. I rose early and rode my bike along Charleston’s oddly quiet three-hundred-year old waterfront before turning towards the intersection of Meeting and Calhoun streets. It wasn’t even 7AM. Surely, I reckoned, I would land a spot in the 5,000-plus seat arena where Pinckney and eight others would be eulogized by President Obama. How wrong I was.

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The line on Meeting Street. Before 7AM. Photo: Chris Dixon

Reaching the intersection, I just stood there sort of agog. The rest of the city was oddly quiet because, it seemed, the entire city was converging here. A vast, deep, noisy line of every sort of person who calls The Holy City home stretched far, far up the now most aptly named Meeting Street. It was already smotheringly hot, but the throng stood smiling and resolute, sweating and fanning themselves in church finery. They banged drums, sang gospel hymns, held up signs and handed out water bottles. Way up the street, I eventually found the end of the line – and worrisomely, it seemed 5000 might already in front of me. But even this wasn’t the end of the line for long. Thousands more would line up behind me. I don’t think downtown Charleston has ever seen anything quite like what was happening.

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These Are the Tallest Masts Ever Built, En Route to the Biggest Sailing Yacht Ever Built

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Photo: Magma Structures.

These three 100-meter tall, 55-ton masts were unveiled in Portsmouth Harbor, England by engineering group Magma Structures this past week. Now on their way to a shipyard in Germany where they’ll be stepped into Solar, what is reportedly a 345-foot titan of a yacht. If it’s true, she will be–by a margin of 65 feet–the largest sail-powered yacht to ever grace to the seas.

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This Time-Lapse Video Captures the Spirit and Solitude of ‘Down East’, Maine

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Screenshot from Tate Yoder’s YouTube film.

‘Down East’ Maine might be considered ‘Up North’ for most of the United States but it is a beloved coastal corner of the world that extends from Penobscot Bay to the Canadian border, in its narrowest sense.

According to Down East, The Magazine of Maine the origin of the term in New England began in Boston. “When ships sailed from Boston to ports in Maine (which were to the east of Boston), the wind was at their backs, so they were sailing downwind, hence the term ‘Down East.’ And it follows that when they returned to Boston they were sailing upwind; many Mainers still speak of going ‘up to Boston,’ despite the fact that the city lies approximately 50 miles to the south of Maine’s southern border.

Down East reader Tate Yoder shot footage over a range of areas, times, days, and parts of the year to put together this time-lapse video of the Down East region.

Film by Tate Yoder.

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Watch a Tiger Shark Steal a $10,000 Camera from a Reluctant Diver (Who Holds On with His Life)

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It almost looks like he’s desperately reaching in to attempt to unhinge the fish’s jaws. Screenshot from Paul and Young Rong’s YouTube video (below).

Does homeowners insurance cover something like this? I mean, it’s theft, after all, right? Poor guy. Really, I feel for him. But years from now, after he’s told his children and grandchildren the story of how he tried to retrieve his five-figure camera from a big tiger shark, it’ll pay off.

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