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THE OPEN SEA - THE WORLD OF PLANKTON

The Open Sea - The World of Plankton

Author(s)                 Alister C. Hardy
Publisher Collins
Date 2012
Pages 142
Format epub
Size 7.7 Mb

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   There is a very simple fact about the sea which makes its inhabitants seem even more remote from us than can entirely be accounted for by their being largely out of sight. To make my point allow me to imagine a world just a little different from our own. Suppose for a moment that we live in a country which is bounded on one side by a permanent bank of fog. It is a grey-green vapour, denser even than that often known as a London particular, and it has a boundary as definite as the surface of a cloud so that it is like a curtain hanging from the sky to meet the ground; we cannot enter it without special aids except for a momentary plunge and as quickly out again for breath. We can see into it for only a very little way, but what we do see is all the more tantalizing because we know it must be just a glimpse—a tiny fraction—of all that lies beyond. We find it has life in it as abundant as that of our own country-side, but so different that it might be life from another world. No insects dwell beyond the barrier, but other jointed-legged creatures take their place. Unfamiliar floating forms, like living parachutes with trailing tentacles, show their beauty and all too quickly fade from view; then sometimes at night the darkness may be spangled with moving points of light—living sparks that dart and dance before our eyes. Occasionally gigantic monsters, equal in size to several elephants rolled into one. blunder through the curtain and lie dying on our land...

Category: MARINE SCIENCE & OCEANOGRAPHY | Views: 793 |
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