Eutonina indicans / © Alexander Semenov
For the last several years, marine photographer Alexander Semenov (previously) has lead the divers team at Moscow State University’s White Sea Biological Station located just south of the Artic Circle. Semenov directs scientific dives in extremely cold and harsh conditions to document sea creatures seldom seen anywhere else on Earth. From giant jellyfish to the tiniest of unknown sea worms, the photographer captures almost all of the creatures you see here out in the wild, without the convenience of a laboratory or studio.
It’s estimated that nearly 80% of all aquatic life in the world’s oceans has yet to be studied or even discovered. In response to this potentially vast world of unknown lifeforms, coupled with Semenov’s unceasing interest in marine biology, an ambitious trek across the world’s oceans has been planned for 2016. The Aquatilis Expedition is a proposed journey that will take a team of divers, scientists, and videographers to locations around the globe for the purposes of identifying new species, an odyssey on par with the advertures of Jacques Cousteau.
Many of Semenov’s best photos are available as prints, and he shares regular updates on both Facebook and Flickr.
Cyanea rainbow / © Alexander Semenov
Syllidae from the Sea of Okhotsk / © Alexander Semenov
Cestum veneris, Italy / © Alexander Semenov
Beroe cucumis / © Alexander Semenov
Cyanea nude / © Alexander Semenov
Clione limacina / © Alexander Semenov
Sarsia tubulosa attacked by Cyanea capillata / © Alexander Semenov
Swimming file clam, Australia / © Alexander Semenov
Aglantha digitale / © Alexander Semenov
No, these aren’t light vomiting fish, though you would be forgiven for thinking so because that’s exactly what it looks like. What you’re seeing is the defense mechanism of a tiny crustacean called an ostracod, a shrimp-like organism about 1mm in size that some fish accidentally eat while hunting for plankton. When eaten by a translucent cardinalfish, the ostracod immediately releases a bioluminescent chemical in an attempt to illuminate the fish from the inside, making it immediately identifiable to predators. WHAT. Not wanting to be eaten, the cardinalfish immediately spits out the ostracod, resulting in little underwater fish fireworks. What an incredible game of evolutionary cat and mouse. The clip above is from a new show on BBC Two called Super Senses. If you’re in the UK you can watch it online in HD for a few more days. (via For Science Sake)
Conceptual mock-up of the Dino Pet
Designed by Yonder Biology (“The DNA Art Company”), the Dino Pet is a dinosaur-shaped habitat for a species of bioluminescent marine algae that photosynthesizes during the day and glows at night. “Dino” is actually a sort of a play on words, as the actual organisms contained inside the toy model are called Dinoflagellata and are known for their ability to glow when physically agitated (ie. shaken). The pet lives for 1-3 months and can potentially live indefinitely if the algae is supplied with the proper food. The Dino Pet is currently funding on Kickstarter, get your own for a pledge of $40. (via PSFK)
For the past year LA-based photographer Mark Laita has been traveling to various locations around the U.S. and Central America photographing some of the world’s most deadliest snakes, a series entitled Serpentine. Of the project he says:
The sensual attractiveness of snakes, which coexists with their threatening, unpredictable and mysterious nature is truly unique. This dichotomy, in which their beauty seems to be heightened by their danger, and vice-versa, is what I find so fascinating. Add to these contradictions the rich symbolism of serpents and you have a wonderfully compelling subject.
Laita works with collectors, breeders, zoos, and even anti-venom labs who let him photograph their snake collections. But as you can imagine snake handling can be dangerous work. Just last week on a photo shoot in Costa Rica, he tangoed with a Black Mambo (last photo), the longest venomous snake in Africa that can grow up to 14 feet long. So what kind of risk did you take at work today?
See also his beautiful if somewhat heartbreaking catalog of ornithological specimens entitled Amaranthine, and some exquisite images of sea life. All images courtesy the artist. (via feature shoot)
British architect and meteorologist Marin Sawa builds sculptures out of farmed algae and assorted chemistry equipment.
Algaerium is textile-inspired design for ‘cultivating’ and producing green energy in style. It creates a domesticated mode of algaculture for our urban lifestyles in the space of interior to exterior. This means it acts as aquariums for algae and the ‘living’ design serves as a new type of plants designed with a new characteristic to visualize photosynthesis through colour change.