The Scuttlefish

Love the Ocean. Wish you were here.

Category: video

Watch: This Is What It’s Like to Glide Between Two Continents in Iceland’s Silfra Fissure

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Screenshot from Hashem Al-Ghaili’s video.

Silfra fissure, in Iceland’s Thingvellir National Park holds some of the clearest, cleanest water on the face of the earth. It’s also where the North American and Eurasian continental plates meet, but not for much longer, relatively speaking.

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Screenshot from Hashem Al-Ghaili’s video.

The Silfra fissure is diverging at a rate of about 2 centimeters per year, but there are still parts of the fissure where you can place your palms on both continental plates, for now.

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“Basso Profundo.” A Big, Merciless Late Fall Day at William Finnegan’s Ocean Beach, San Francisco.

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Screenshot from Chris Wilson’s video below.

San Francisco’s vast and featureless Ocean Beach produces frothing, pitching walls of water worthy of your worst nightmares. Big waves, cold, ominously gray water and shallow, hard-packed sandbars keep most surfers out of the water on larger days, but the few, ostensibly fearless who do manage the paddle out over relentless, insurmountable avalanches of whitewater are offered the wondrous sensation of weightlessness that accompanies dropping in on these foreboding faces.

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This was the sort of imagery that kept me out of the water during most of my time living in San Francisco. Screenshot from Chris Wilson’s video below.

Few surfers–and even fewer writers–are better acquainted with the terrors of winter surf at Ocean Beach than New Yorker staffer Bill Finnegan, who detailed some of his more daunting surfing experiences of his surfing career while living near the end of Noriega Street under the guise of local legend Mark “Doc” Renneker, whom he profiled in his two-part feature for the New Yorker, “Playing Doc’s Games I & II.” Below is a brief excerpt from “Playing Doc’s Games I” in which Finnegan recounts one of his more harrowing days at Ocean Beach:

I dived deep and swam hard. . . . The deeper I swam, the colder and darker the water got. The noise as the wave broke was preternaturally low, a basso profundo of utter violence, and the force pulling me backward and upward felt like some nightmare inversion of gravity.

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A Happy 180th Birthday to Mark Twain, And a Video Tribute to the Late, Great Pioneer of Western Surf Prose.

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Screenshot from the 1909 Edison film below.

Mark Twain was not merely the greatest American humorist, novelist and social critic to grace the globe; he may well have been western prose’s first surf writer, evidenced by his eloquent description of his failed attempt at ‘surf-bathing’ while visiting the Kingdom of Hawaii in 1872 (excerpt from Roughing It):

I tried surf-bathing once, subsequently, but made a failure of it. I got the board placed right, and at the right moment, too; but missed the connection myself. The board struck the shore in three-quarters of a second, without any cargo, and I struck the bottom about the same time, with a couple of barrels of water in me. None but natives ever master the art of surf-bathing thoroughly.

This Edison film of a later-years Mr. Clemens and (supposedly) his daughters Clara and Susy was taken in 1909 outside ‘Stormfield’, the American humorist, novelist and social critic’s home in Redding, Connecticut, one year before he passed. Notice Twain’s ever stern and steady delivery of some wry quip which makes his daughter chuckle wholesomely over tea on the patio:

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Join the Russian-based ‘Aquatilis’ Expedition After They Return From Exploring Three Oceans to Learn More About Gelatinous Microorgansims

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The focus of the Aquatilis expedition is to learn more about gelatinous plankton. Image from the Aquatilis Web site.

A team of Russian marine biologists just returned from five months at sea, where they traveled over 30,000 miles and through three oceans to learn more about Gelata, a subcategory of zooplankton (microscopic animals). Gelata are soft-bodied and gelatinous zooplankton that have a unifying characteristic of  soft and extremely fragile jelly-like bodies, like jellyfish.

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The route of the Aquatilis. Image from the Aquatilis Web site.

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Somewhere in Ireland, This Surfer’s Head Is Still Ringing.

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. . . and that’s on their way down. Screenshot from @the.surf.journal’s video below.

How this poor waverider isn’t severed symmetrically is beyond me, though I don’t think the same could be said for his surfboard.

“Caught Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea.” The Harrowing Flight of the Flying Fish.

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Above, a mahi mahi (aka dorado or dolphinfish) gives a flying fish the fright of its life. Screenshot from the BBC video below.

Flying fish (family Exocoetidae) can glide for hundreds of yards to dodge predatory fish like mahi mahi (Coryphaena hippurus) from below, but when the frigate birds arrive, they’re merely out of the frying pan and into the fire.

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“The Ocean is a Scary Beautiful Place.” Life in Salt: Karim Iliya on Travel, Photography and Flying Drones Over the Red Sea for His Upcoming Freediving Documentary

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“For me, it’s about seeing things, and the camera is just a machine. I just use that machine to show people how I view existence.” Photo: Krannichfeld Photography/Courtesy of Karim Iliya.

At just 24 years old, British-born Maui-based photographer and videographer Karim Iliya’s curiosity has led him around the globe by sea, sky and land, to which his vast range of subjects are testament. He’s trekked the Arctic, dived into a humpback whale brawl off Tonga, and filmed a volcanic eruption in Guatemala. You might not believe it from his age, but the list goes on.

Ten years ago, when Karim first started with a point-and-shoot camera, his dream was to travel the world taking photographs. Today, he’s a wizard behind the lens, and a masterful drone pilot. We caught up with him in China, on his way to North Korea, where he’s hoping he might be allowed to boot up his camera.

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Friendship Lures a Penguin Back to a Brazil – Year After Year

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Screenshot from video by Paul Kiernan/The Wall Street Journal.

In 2001, a bricklayer living on the southeast coast of Brazil was met with a surprise outside of his beach shack – a Megallanic penguin lying at his doorstep, covered in oil. After cleaning and caring for the penguin, it returned to sea, and was presumably gone forever. But since then, the penguin nicknamed JingJing has returned year after year to visit his savior while feeding in the warmer waters off Brazil before migrating back to the breeding grounds off southern Argentina. It’s a remarkable friendship that would make anyone wonder about the sentience of these brilliant little birds.

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