Guide to Underwater Living

To survive in the deep with no hiding place, make yourself invisible. Where there is no refuge, develop a form that light will pass through.

underwater photography of deep sea

Today, I am considering living underwater. Ninety percent of earth’s livable space is in the oceans. Recently, I read that many of the creatures living in it have survived by evolving talents for invisibility.

Consider this: land-dwelling creatures may camouflage themselves to blend in with surroundings. They may retreat to underground dens, high-altitude nests, or fly. 

To illustrate, one doctor cites a familiar scenario: Say a gunman enters a room. What do you do? A kindergartener can tell you: take cover. Hide. Do not come out.

But what about the deep, where there is nowhere to hide?

To survive, you adapt by making yourself invisible. Where there is no refuge from what will eat you, develop a form that light will pass through. 

The deep is full of transparent animals. You can read a book through some of them. Such forms are not without complications, of course. Risk of sunburning organs is among them. Stay low to avoid this. 

If not see-through, you can make yourself a mirror, reflecting light back. 

If not invisible, you can create your own light and shine it below you so that anyone looking up, sees nothing but light. If you do this, be careful not to let your light leak out or above you, so that you don’t become an easy target.

These transparent swimmers are everywhere, and now I can’t stop thinking about all of this invisible life, teeming beyond our ability to see what it is.

This post was inspired by this New York Times article, “A World of Creatures that Hide in the Open” from 2014. 

Author: Stacey C. Johnson

I am here to wonder out loud. The point is not to get a clear answer, a complete picture, but to remember how incomplete the picture is, to embrace the process once again, of discovery, of questions, to notice the stirrings of wonder. To leave crumbs behind, for the next traveler.

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