As we approach our national day of gratitude and binge eating, I wanted to say a big heartfelt “thank you” to my muses, the ocean and the people who geek out on it. Here, in no particular order, are just some of the things in and around the sea that I am truly thankful for, and that make the ocean beat the most interesting one on the planet.
- Deep sea canyons. New England still has some spots left to explore! Check out what our first attempts have turned up. I can’t help but wonder what we haven’t yet seen down there.
- Mantis shrimp: “One of the most creatively violent animals on the planet.” If you haven’t been introduced to these little guys, or to The Oatmeal cartoon about them - now is the time.
- Greenland sharks or, as they are affectionately known, “Canada’s crocodile.” Slow, small-brained, and often blind from eyeball parasites – they still manage to eat large, fast mammals. In fact, one of them took Greenland sharking to a new level recently by taking on a huge hunk of moose meat in Newfoundland. It did not go well, but fortunately some folks were there to help the shark out of its jam when the moose got stuck. So, I’m thankful for Greenland sharks and for Newfoundlanders cause DANG that is a uniquely Canadian and impressive feat – yanking a huge hunk of moose hide out of a beached shark. A tip of the hat to you all.
- Squid, cuttlefish, octopi – masters of camouflage and the creatures that make me ponder what evolution has in store for humans. If these guys figure out how to take to land I’m not sure we stand much of a chance. I know other people are worried too – because our SciFi aliens often resemble cephalopods.
- Sharknado. It got us all talking.
- Wolffish. Because wolffish. Seriously, though, how many other reclusive New England fish have a whole class of attack submarines named after them?
- Cashes Ledge. There is a place in New England that looks like a NorCal giant kelp forest, full of all the best kinds of things in the sea (including wolffish). Help us protect it!
- Surfing. If you surf, you know. If you don’t, I can’t explain it without sounding like a total, well, like this guy. Just go try it. And, while we’re on the subject of surfing:
- Great white sharks. They keep us on our toes. (Literally – I would rather be riding a wave then dangling my shark-bait feet in the water off my board). They also inspire awe and wonder, and really funny memes.
- Newly discovered ancient saltwater lakes in big, deep craters. What lives there? What used to?
- My family. They let me tell all these fantastic tales around the dinner table, help me pull out the juiciest details, and give me ideas for stories I never thought of. My kids can now beat most grownups at “ocean trivia.” Proud mom.
- Leah Fine, Casey Diederich, Brian Skerry, Josh Cummings, Michel Labrecque, Zach Whalen, Alex Shure, and everyone else who has contributed photos, stories, and love to New England Ocean Odyssey. And, especially, to our readers, likers, and share-ers. Thanks! And…
Mahalo to you all!