Alaska is Having Its Hottest Year Since Records Began - "After a spring that was a full ten degrees hotter than normal, the northern state is on track for the most sweltering year on record." (via) [more inside]
A Marine's Convictions. "After a flawed sexual assault investigation, a Naval Academy instructor fights to prove he has done nothing wrong. But did he?" (content warning: rape) [more inside]
Maybe you first saw one of them in a video game or a heavy metal album cover: the 69 demons Louis Le Breton illustrated for Collin de Plancy's Dictionnaire Infernal (previously). But who was the man who rendered these images, and brought the dukes and presidents of Hell to life in such specific detail? Would he want to be remembered for his drawings of composite monsters and naked men riding dragons, or did he perhaps leave another legacy entirely? [more inside]
Architeuthis Dux: Giant Squid observed in Toyama Bay, Japan. [SLYT] The story from CNN. This one was 12 feet long; they can grow to 60 feet. [more inside]
The world's coral is suddenly and rapidly starting to die - "This is only the third time we've seen what we would refer to as a global bleaching event. [The prior events] were in 1998 and 2010, and those were pretty much one year events. We're looking at a similar spatial scale of bleaching across the globe, but spanning across at least 2 years. So that means a lot of these corals are being put under really prolonged stress, or are being hit 2 years in a row." Can 'manually breeding supercorals capable of living in increasingly inhospitable waters' help in time? (via/via)
In Unit Stalked by Suicide, Veterans Try to Save One Another. The Second Battalion, Seventh Marine Regiment (2/7) was deployed to Helmand Province, Afghanistan in 2008. During eight months of combat, the unit killed hundreds of enemy fighters and suffered more casualties than any other Marine battalion that year. When its members returned, most left the military. Seven years later, at least 13 of the 1200 members of that battalion have killed themselves in the interim: two while on active duty, the rest after they left the military. That is nearly four times the rate for young male veterans as a whole and 14 times that for all Americans. (This story discusses self-harm, suicide and suicidal ideation. Some readers may find the content disturbing.) [more inside]
The staggering reality of America's post-9/11 era of perpetual war: For every active duty soldier killed in combat, twenty veterans died by their own hand. This is Daniel Wolfe's story. (This story discusses self-harm, suicide and suicidal ideation. Some readers may find the content disturbing.) [more inside]
Underwater pics mapped. Google Maps teamed up with XL Catlin Seaview Survey, NOAA's Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, and the Chagos Conservation Trust to put together an assortment of underwater views to explore. Previously. [more inside]
Marine salvage master Captain Nick Sloane is the man to call when your cruise ship or supertanker founders at sea. "Sloane had a six-man team. They found the Ikan Tanda lying broadside to the weather about two miles offshore. It was rolling heavily and was being swept by seas so large that the entire deck was going under, and waves were bursting over the top of the superstructure. The waves were running 14 seconds apart, an interval just large enough to allow each member of the team, in helmet and life vest, to be winched down onto the deck and take cover. They landed on one of the massive cargo hatches, unhooked from the harness, rolled to the edge, and dropped down to the side deck to crouch behind a coaming—the raised steel perimeter around a cargo hatch—just as the next wave swept across."
The Voith Schneider propeller is a unique marine propulsion system that uses vertical rotating blades to allow for high maneuverability. If you can't stomach the full promotional video (skip to here to see how it works), watch it in action underwater, or give it a test drive with an interactive VSP simulator.
Pictures have been going around of a small jelly like creature a fisherman pulled into his boat off New Zealand. The creature has been identified as a salp most likely Thetys vagina Salps may look like jellyfish but they are more closely related to vertebrates. [more inside]
For the first time, three women, identified as Pfc. Julia Carroll, Pfc. Christina Fuentes Montenegro and Pfc. Katie Gorz will graduate from enlisted infantry training today, having passed the two month course at the School of Infantry-East at Camp Geiger, a satellite of Lejeune. However, they still won’t be allowed to serve in an infantry unit, until the Marine Corps finishes its study of women in combat, in two more years' time. [more inside]
A server who was stiffed on a tip but left a note condemning her homosexual lifestyle instead, receives thousands from sympathetic strangers and donates everything to Wounded Warriors Project.
Containership’s Structure Visually Flexing in Heavy Seas — Underdeck time lapse video (16x normal speed) of the 294 meter MOL Excellence as she rolls, pitches, and yaws during a voyage from Tokyo to Los Angeles. Large ships are designed to flex while underway, but when seas get rough they can break like the MOL Comfort on June 17, 2013.
Gil Koplovitz took pictures of a strip club called the Nymphas Show Bar. One small detail: he did it while he was scuba diving off the coast of Israel.
Following an incident at Fort Bragg where Lt. Colonel Heather Mack's wife, Ashley Broadway, was told she could not join the Association of Bragg Officers’ Spouses, the Marine Corps has issued guidance that spouses clubs operating on its bases and installations must offer membership to the same-sex spouses of gay and lesbian service members. [more inside]
Officers in the United States Marine Corps face a long and rigorous selection and training process. First, Officer Candidate School, where they receive their commissions. Then The Basic School, where they are taught the credo: 'Every Marine A Rifleman.' Then, for those who choose and are selected for the infantry, the Infantry Officer's Course. With the 'front lines' of modern combat blurred at best, the United States Marine Corps will begin accepting women for the infantry in September, enrolling them in the Infantry Officer's Course. [more inside]
Deepstaria Enigmatica, undulating, pulsating, mysterious. It fits in with the crazy-looking ones and is newly discovered. Not yet depicted in this fantastic Japanese illustrated gallery, Creatures of the Deep. [more inside]
In the wake of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, Al Jazeera reports on large-scale deformities and mutations in the Gulf of Mexico seafood catch.
The tuna-fisher Trevignon responded to a call for help from the Costa Allegra... if the crew of the Trevignon are like many other sailors I know, I bet they're swilling champagne and living the high life in Mahé. But the story may be a bit more controversial.
Listening to the Deep-Ocean Environment allows you to access ambient ocean noise feeds from around the globe. [via] [more inside]
"Every day in the U.S., about 500 people lose a limb. About 1,800 amputation surgeries are performed each year in Oklahoma. More than 1,600 of those — about 90 percent — are lower body amputations. So every day in Oklahoma, four people lose part or all of a leg." (Nationally, the most common procedure is toe amputation.) "These are the stories of four people living in Oklahoma — a mother, a senior, a Marine and a student — all living life on at least one prosthetic leg": Standing Tall [more inside]
Like a "modern-day pirate," 75-year-old Ray Ives has been diving for sunken treasure for decades. Wearing an ancient, bronze-helmeted diving suit, he searches the ocean floor and keeps a huge collection of marine salvage (including antique cannon balls, 'bottles, bells, swords, portholes and diving gear') in a shipping container "museum" at a British marina.
Ray: A Life Underwater: Vimeo / YouTube. (A short film documentary.) [more inside]
Ray: A Life Underwater: Vimeo / YouTube. (A short film documentary.) [more inside]
Snail attack | The Savage Colors of Naked, Toxic Sea Snails . Bonus link: giant slug eats flower. [more inside]
CreatureCast is a collaborative blog and podcast from evolutionary biologist Casey Dunn, who uses it as a teaching tool at the Dunn Lab at Brown University. The Lab investigates ways in which evolution has produced a diversity of life, and the blog includes neat, invertebrate zoology-related videos that may cover anything from "mating when you're stuck to a rock" to Flying with Squid to Multicellularity to Diving for Jellies. (Via) [more inside]
Everything you ever wanted to know about lighthouses - The Lighthouse Directory - "which provides information and links for more than 12,900 of the world's lighthouses."
How to Save a Dying Ocean - "New England fishermen have mixed feelings about a programme designed to allow overfished species to recover. Mark Schrope reports on how catch shares have scientists fishing for answers." (via) [more inside]
"High pressures? You had better believe it. And in this case, Mother Nature won." Absolutely fascinating analysis of both the hazards of deepwater drilling and what happened to the Transocean Horizon rig that sank in the Gulf of Mexico. A first hand interview from one of the survivors, and discussions about drilling, safety and the equipment involved. [more inside]
One of the great things about Google Earth is how extensible it is using KML. You can use it to show off placemarks, build 3D structures, track wildfires or hurricanes, and much more. Google Earth can be used as a scientific visualization platform. OpenEarth is an open source initiative that archives, hosts and disseminates Data, Models and Tools for marine and coastal scientists and engineers. Their KML data visualizations using Google Earth display some of the possibilities. [via] [more inside]
The End of Fish - maybe it's finally time for an environmental accounting, cuz the 'bill' is coming due; stocks and flows, folks.
The amazing story of the coelacanth is one of the wonders of the living world that inspires marine biologists such myself. Coelacanths, part of the offshoot lineage of fishes known as "lobed finned ", are very different from typical "ray finned" fishes that you usually think of. Their bizarre lobed fins are thought to be an intermediate step between fish fins and amphibian legs. Scientists had known that these weird fish existed because of fossils for over a century, but we believed that they went extinct 65 million years ago... until a South African fisherman caught one in 1938. [more inside]
Most people have heard about how rising CO2 levels are resulting in a changing global climate. Fewer have heard about the other consequence of rising CO2 levels- when the CO2 is absorbed into the oceans, it disassociates into carbonic acid. This alters the pH of our world's oceans, and it's called "Ocean Acidification". This changing ocean chemistry has many important and devastating consequences. [more inside]
Pictures of military subjects, many of them annotated, from all over such as Russia, Malaysia, Japan (Special Police), Ireland, Cyprus, Sri Lanka and Canada. [more inside]
By popular demand, your new resident marine biology nerd has compiled some cool information about the Giant Pacific Octopus.The Giant Pacific Octopus (Octopus dofleini) is one of the strangest animals in the sea- and one of the smartest. Though it is commonly believed that vertebrates are always "smarter" than invertebrates, these guys defy that convention. As this video shows, they are able to easily open jars and retrieve food from inside. They are also, as the "Giant" implies, enormous- the biggest one on record was 30 feet across (according to National Geographic) [more inside]
Is salvaging sunken treasure a form of piracy or the preservation of history? Does commercial for-profit exploration of historical shipwrecks taint the historical legacy of these naval graveyards? Who owns the treasures lost for so many centuries? Marine archeology is testing its legal limits with one man's work. [previous]
Pictures and descriptions of sea slugs - an absolutely stunning species of marine life
The Jupiter Foundation and the Whalesong Project are both organizations which record humpback whale songs from floating buoys; some of their archived recordings can be found here, here, and here. (Warning, last two may resize your browser.) DOSITS hosts a more comprehensive collection of oceanic sounds, with seals and fish along with its whales and dolphins. It also has a couple of nice sections on how animals use sounds in the ocean. (Previously.) [more inside]
The ocean gives us life. It gives us oxygen, the rain, food, excitement, wonder, and mystery. The ocean buffers the weather and helps regulate global temperature. It manages vast amounts of our pollutants, contains all kinds of amazing creatures, and supports all life on our planet. But, the ocean is just now beginning to be understood and with that understanding comes the increasing realization that the ocean is in trouble. Marine conservation efforts are outnumbered by the problems. MarineBio is here to call attention to those issues and to provide information to inspire the actions necessary to address them.
This a fast offensive predator. First described by Reinthal, 1993, as voracious and a threat to shipping. Diurnal, collecting in dense aggregations along reef walls at night to sleep. Oweni is an insatiable consumer of almost everything of animal origin. Suspect in many human "shark" fatalities, although remains of victims have never been recovered - Field Notes and Drawings of Marine Creatures Captured or Observed by Xisle Expedition Biologist & Artist William Russell Curtsinger, PhD. [more inside]
The Cougar Ace [previously] became an instant Internet meme when she nearly capsized while shifting ballast near Adak, Alaska. Not enough told is the story of righting her, which required incredible bravery and, sadly, the loss of one human life.
A Global Map of Human Impacts to Marine Ecosystems "What happens in the vast stretches of the world's oceans - both wondrous and worrisome - has too often been out of sight, out of mind. The goal of the research presented here is to estimate and visualize, for the first time, the global impact humans are having on the ocean's ecosystems."
I don't cross post from other sites (digg), unless there's a good reason. Final Salute is a good reason. Additional links/background are there, but go to the slideshow. And this photo.
Rethink. The. Shark. [YouTube] The Save Our Seas Foundation [small Flash], a Swiss-based non-profit, joins the growing ranks of a world-wide movement to undo the damage caused by popular reports and gross misrepresentation by Hollywood of sharks as human-savoring sea monsters/killing machines. The fact of the matter is that the opposite is true: Current estimates give between 65 million to 165 million sharks being killed worldwide annually via unregulated catch - including 38 million to 70 million [PDF] for their fin alone, with untold numbers of butchered and bleeding-to-death sharks being cast back into the oceans to die slow and gruesome deaths. [more inside]
An "order of magnitude older than the dinosaurs," even older than clams, bugs, vertebrates, are jellyfish. At almost 600 million years old, jellyfish are some of the oldest animals on the earth that have survived the test of time. Dr. Lisa-ann Gershwin, (yes, of that Gershwin family) is a scientist studying jellyfish in Queensland, Australia and was recently interviewed by the ABC. I was particularly disturbed by her gripping description of the tiny Irukandji jellyfish and how the venom affects humans. This summer, swim at your own risk.
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