underwater

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Science

These Sneaky Sea Slugs Paralyze Their Predators With Stolen “Weapons”

August 30, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

Nudibranchs, or sea slugs, and are group of wildly colored animals that use their striking forms to warn predators against attack. Although the sea slugs move slow, they are protected by a brilliant defense mechanism. Some species create an alarming defense by stealing “weapons” from another creature called a hydroid. These plant-like animals may appear like seaweed, but they are actually a jellyfish relative covered in stingers packed with a paralyzing venom.

Instead of being repelled by the dangerous tentacles covering the hydroids’ bodies, nudibranchs devour them. Once swallowed, some of the immature stingers are passed directly into their digestion system and are stored in their spikes. If a sea slug feels threatened, these stingers are deployed for an overwhelming punch of stolen venom. For more information on nudibranchs and their sneaky defense system, view this article from KQED Deep Look. (via The Kid Should See This)

A nudibranch devouring a hydroid

 

 



Photography

Jewels in the Night Sea: Luminous Plankton Captured in the Dark Waters off the South Coast of Japan

August 17, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

Larval fish of Dendrochirus, all images copyright Ryo Minemizu

Larval fish of Dendrochirus, all images copyright Ryo Minemizu

Japanese marine life photographer Ryo Minemizu focuses his lens on some of the tiniest and most abundant life forms in our oceans. His series Phenomenons explores the diverse beauty and extravagant colors of plankton, and is shot amongst the dark waters of the Osezaki sea near Mount Fuji and other coasts around Japan, the Philippines and Maldives. To capture the small creatures Minemizu sets his shutter speed to just a fraction of a second, while ensuring that his own movements don’t disturb the surrounding organisms.

“Plankton symbolize how precious life is by their tiny existence,” he explains. “I wanted other people to see them as they are in the sea, so it was my motivation from the beginning to shoot plankton underwater, which is quite a challenge. Most plankton are small, and their movements are hard to predict.”

His solo exhibition Jewels in the Night Sea begins a three-city tour at Canon Gallery in Ginza, Tokyo from August 20-29, 2018. It will then move to Cannon galleries in Nagoya and Osaka from September 6-12 and September 20-26, 2018. You can see more of Minemizu’s underwater photography on Instagram and Twitter. Select prints from his Phenomenons series are available in his online shop. (via This Isn’t Happiness)

Unknown a larval Gymnapogon

Unknown a larval Gymnapogon

Batesian mimicry, larval fish of Soleichthys

Batesian mimicry, larval fish of Soleichthys

Larval Tripod fish

Larval Tripod fish

The Paralepididae

The Paralepididae

Hyperiidea on Nausithoe jellyfish

Hyperiidea on Nausithoe jellyfish

Larval Barred soapfish

Larval Barred soapfish

The paddle of zoea larva of Lysmata

The paddle of zoea larva of Lysmata

Megalopa larva of Eplumula phalangium

Megalopa larva of Eplumula phalangium

Larva of Pleurobranchaea

Larva of Pleurobranchaea

 

 



Art Photography

Baroque Underwater Photography by Christy Lee Rogers

August 15, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

“A Dream Dreamed in the Presence of Reason”. All photos © Christy Lee Rogers

Photographer Christy Lee Rogers produces luminous scenes of swirling figures swathed in colorful fabrics. She creates a painterly quality in her large-scale images not by using wet pigments, but rather by completely submerging her subjects in illuminated water and photographing them at night.

The works shown here are part of Rogers’ most recent series, titled ‘Muses’, which were in response to a year of personal loss. She shared in an interview that “these final images represent a soft and peaceful place that I imagine exists, where you can be free to let go and experience the beauty surrounding you.”

Rogers grew up in Hawaii and continues to shoot there, though she now lives in Nashville. Her works are exhibited widely, alongside video installations, one of which can be viewed below.  The photographer recently had a solo show at Art Labor Gallery, who will also be representing her work at PHOTOFAIRS | Shangai, opening on September 21, 2018. You can see more from Rogers on Facebook and Vimeo. (via Booooooom)

“Our Hopes and Expectations”

“Love Live”

“Awaken”

“Alive”

“Cloud Nine”

“Rhapsody”

“Harmony”

“Apparition”

“Evolution”

 

 



Art

The Coralarium: An Immersive Sculptural Installation Semi-Submerged in the Indian Ocean

July 19, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

All photographs shared with permission of the artist Jason deCaires Taylor

The Coralarium is the newest aquatic sculpture by artist Jason deCaires Taylor (previously here and here). Built in a large developed coral lagoon in the Maldives, the semi-submerged installation is positioned so both human and marine visitors can interact with sculptural elements on the skyline, inter-tidal waterline, and seabed.

To reach the Coralarium, island guests traverse about 500 feet (150 meters) of shallow water, seascaped with underwater poplars and endemic corals. About 20 feet (6 meters) tall, the open-air stainless steel cube is designed based on natural coral structures and allows tidal water and marine life to pass through. Within the structure, which provides some refuge from the ocean’s currents, are several figurative sculptures that merge human, plant, and coral shapes, based on endemic species of the island and its surrounding reefs. Additional sculptures sit and stand atop the cube’s roof to unite the interior elements with the horizon.

The aquatic destination is accessible via small group tours led by marine biologists that are on staff at the Fairmont Maldives Sirru Fen Fushi resort. You can see more of Taylor’s work on Facebook and Instagram, and the video below shows the creation of the Coralarium. (via Web Urbanist)

 

 



Photography

Brave Snorkelers and Ravenous Jellyfish Steal the Spotlight in This Year’s Underwater Photographer of the Year

July 6, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

Compact Commended: "Elvis" by Stefano Cerbai (Italy)

Compact Commended: “Elvis” © Stefano Cerbai (Italy)/UPY2018

Winners and finalists in the 2018 Underwater Photographer of the Year contest showcased a wide range of subjects and perspectives—from a split photograph of a pair of crossed swans to a startling portrait of an unlucky fish being devoured by a luminescent jellyfish. The annual competition, held since 1965, is based in the UK and open to photographers worldwide. Judge chairman Peter Rowlands shares with Colossal that a free downloadable yearbook is available, compiling this year’s top photographs.

Wide Angle Commended: "Blacktip Rendezvous" by Renee Capozzola (USA)

Wide Angle Commended: “Blacktip Rendezvous” © Renee Capozzola (USA)/UPY2018

Behavior Runner Up: "In Hinding" by Scott Gutsy Tuason (Philippines)

Behavior Runner Up: “In Hinding” © Scott Gutsy Tuason (Philippines)/UPY2018

Black and White Highly Commended: "Morning Flight" by Filippo Borghi (Italy)

Black and White Highly Commended: “Morning Flight” © Filippo Borghi (Italy)/UPY2018

Wide Angle Third Place: "Evening Snorkel" by Brook Peterson (USA)

Wide Angle Third Place: “Evening Snorkel” © Brook Peterson (USA)/UPY2018

British Waters Macro Commended: "Nudibranch across the kelp" by Trevor Rees (UK)

British Waters Macro Commended: “Nudibranch across the kelp” © Trevor Rees (UK)/UPY2018

Macro Runner Up: "Friend or Food?!" by Songda Cai (China)

Macro Runner Up: “Friend or Food?!” © Songda Cai (China)/UPY2018

Portrait Winner: "A sand tiger shark surrounded by tiny bait fish" by Tanya Houppermans (USA)

Portrait Winner: “A sand tiger shark surrounded by tiny bait fish” © Tanya Houppermans (USA)/UPY2018

Black and White Winner: "Crocodile reflections" by Borut Furlan (Slovenia)

Black and White Winner: “Crocodile reflections”  © Borut Furlan (Slovenia)/UPY2018

Macro Highly Commended: "Pretty lady" by TianHong Wang (China)

Macro Highly Commended: “Pretty lady”  © TianHong Wang (China)/UPY2018

Wide Angle Winner: "Humpback whale spy hopping" by Greg Lecoeur (France)

Wide Angle Winner: “Humpback whale spy hopping”  © Greg Lecoeur (France)/UPY2018

British Underwater Photographer of the Year: "Love Birds" by Grant Thomas (UK)

British Underwater Photographer of the Year: “Love Birds” by  © Grant Thomas (UK)/UPY2018

 

 



Photography

Underwater Realm: Black and White Photos Capture Breathtaking Moments Amongst Life in the Sea

June 26, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

Mexican photographer and anthropologist Anuar Patjane captures black and white moments of life underwater as a way to bring awareness to a part of the world most do not get a chance to see. Patjane searches for awe-inspiring snapshots to connect viewers with images of fish and other underwater animals. He hopes his photographs create an empathy towards these creatures and their environment while also expressing the impact that our choices have on their trajectory as species of the sea.

“With the [Underwater Realm] series, I try to drive our attention towards the beauty of our oceans a a truth usually unnoticed: We are brutally overfishing in our oceans, and our attention should be concentrated on the way we fish, as well as what we eat from the ocean,” he explains in an artist statement about the series. “We see and care when a forest is gone because it is visible to everybody, but we don’t see when we destroy life underwater.”

Patjane not only captures life underwater, but landscapes from all over the globe that may often go unnoticed. You can see more of his series, including images shot in Antarctica and Iceland, on his website and Instagram.

 

 



Dance

Underwater Choreography Performed in the World’s Deepest Pool by Julie Gautier

April 30, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

AMA is a short film performed and directed by deep sea diver and underwater filmmaker Julie Gautier. The work follows Gautier through several uninterrupted minutes of underwater choreography, gracefully performed in the world’s deepest pool near Venice, Italy. She holds her breath as she uses controlled movements to twist and glide through the calm water, eventually rising up to the surface with the release of one giant air bubble.

The piece is titled after the Japanese word for “woman of the sea,” which is also the name for Japan’s traditional shell collectors. The film is a metaphoric nod to these united women, while also representing the relationship that connects women from all over the world.

“For me, this film is a way to say: you are not alone,” said Gautier, “open yourself to others, talk about your sufferings and your joys.”

Gautier and her husband, world champion deep sea diver Guillaume Néry, worked together on the 2015 Beyoncé and Arrow Benjamin music video Runnin, and collaborate on an underwater film company called Les Films Engloutis. You can see more short films by Gautier on her website and Instagram. (via Vimeo Staff Pick)