October 16, 2013
“It is a single
ocean, regulating our
climate, generating much
of the oxygen we breathe,
providing food and livelihoods
for hundreds of millions of
people, and seamlessly
connecting all peoples of the
FACT OF THE WEEK
This newsletter is dedicated to the endless power of the ocean to capture our collective imagination.
From ancient Greece to Lake Champlain,
fantastical creatures from the sea have been
featured in myths and scientific investigations
alike. They are part of nearly every culture,
terrorizing sailors, rescuing drowners,
warning children to steer clear of unfamiliar
waters and infuriatingly eluding capture. For
hundreds of years it was customary for
cartographers to embellish their maps with
these legends of the deep, many of which
were based on real sea creatures that had not
yet been identified by scientists. Reports of
sea monsters continue to this day, with Loch
Ness being possibly the most famous
example. Unidentified corpses washed up on
This massive carcass washed up on
the shores of Chile in 2003,
measuring 12m (39ft) across.
Biologists were unable to identify
it for over a year, finally using
DNA to confirm that it was part of
a sperm whale.
the shore are usually called globsters, and
often baﬄe the scientific community for years
before they are identified. Despite
increasingly intensive exploration of the deep
sea, over 97% of the ocean's mysteries
remain unexplored, and will continue to
inspire us for generations to come.
Creatures from Māori mythology,
taniwha (“tanifa”) live deep in
the shadows of caves and rivers.
Some say they help protect
swimmers from drowning, while
others tell of them kidnapping
girls for wives.