Maybe people love the sea and fish for different reasons. It is hard to sit on a shoreline and not enjoy the sounds, smells and look of the sea. It is beautiful when it is blue and calm, and exciting when it is dangerously smashing against the rocks. Fish too are relaxing and calming when they are sedately swimming around, as well as being scary when you see just how gruesome some of them look.
“The sea is emotion incarnate. It loves, hates, and weeps. No matter what you say about it, there is always that which you can’t.” Christopher Paolini
Things You Didn’t Know About Our Scaly Friends
Damselfish actually harvest algae gardens like little farmers and we have discovered that a humphead wrasse understands lengths of time in the same way we do. Over 450 million years ago, humans and sharks shared a common ancestor in the same way that the bear shares a common ancestor with the whale today.
Fish can remember plenty; in fact, goldfish can remember things up to five months. A rainbow fish remembered how to escape its tank in Australia over 11 months after and there are some fish that can remember things up to 40 years. There are also breeds of fish that find swimming dogs fascinating and will follow a dog as it swims in the sea.
“She loves the serene brutality of the ocean, loves the electric power she felt with each breath of wet, briny air.” Holly Black
The Stuff You Do Not Want To Know
Fish can feel pain, even in their cheeks and lips, which means fishing is undeniably cruel unless you are planning on killing the fish once it is out of the water and then eating it. Goldfish are the third most neglected pet in the country. The first is the tortoise/turtle, the second is the rabbit, and third is the poor little goldfish, with most people considering them to be disposable convenience pets.
The Sea Is Our Last Undiscovered Realm
The truth is that the sea is still largely unexplored. It is dark, wet, and the pressure people experience is too much. The sea is very deep and people cannot explore that far down, and even if they did, it would be dark. There is also the fact that weather and ocean conditions are rarely ideal to launch an explorative campaign. At the moment and with current technology, the ocean will remain a relatively unexplored realm.
The sea and fish are always going to hold a strange fascination for us all, and maybe part of the reason is because we know so little about what goes on in its depths. Pixar were somehow able to make a hit movie by showing us what goes on down there, though Finding Nemo was more of a kid’s movie and less of a documentary.
“Because there’s nothing more beautiful than the way the ocean refuses to stop kissing the shoreline, no matter how many times it’s sent away.” Sarah Kay
Are Sharks All That Bad?
The obvious answer is no. There are more deaths from encounters with domestic cows than there are from sharks around the world. The very few photos you see of people with bite marks are people that were nibbled and released. Sharks typically do not like the taste of humans and will release them once they realize they are not a fish or a seal.
The reason most people are scared of them is because they are scary creatures. They have lots of teeth, they are fast, and when you are swimming, you cannot see what they are up to. They are scary creatures, but in terms of the damage they cause, there will be more people killed by dogs this year than by all the shark attacks combined for the last 100 years.
“What would an ocean be without a monster lurking in the dark? It would be like sleep without dreams.” Werner Herzog