Welcome to the latest edition of your Friday smorgasbord of weird, wacky and downright cool tidbits from around the interwebs. Today’s edition has some fun and funky things and leading off if a cool gadget that turns your iPhone into a dive computer and allow you to film underwater. The new iGills Smart Diving System is a polycarbonate housing and free companion app to make that iPhone of yours into a dive computer and logbook you can take up to 130 feet down into the abyss. The pretty snazzy case turns your 30-pin docking port into sensors that record the depth and temperature sensors in addition to six buttons for in-app navigation. You can even take still images and video with the app but don’t think it will let you “Check in” or “OMG!” your friends on Facebook from the reef. The iGills will set you back $330. Check out the video clip for a quick demo.
Can spiking the ocean with iron not only get rid of global warming but spur us into another ice age? According to a report in Nature magazine there is some evidence that this might work and could have led to earlier ice ages. The premise of the experiment is that algae growing in the oceans around Antarctica can’t grow fast because it’s starved of an essential nutrient — iron. Scientists found a place in the southern ocean where the currents created a natural container for their experiment and the team sprinkled iron into the water and recorded what happened. The algae grew as expected, died in a few weeks and then clumped up like snowflakes before falling into the deep and into the sediments.
Researchers have shown many dolphin and whale species do in fact have extraordinarily intelligence and are social creatures with complex cultures and rich inner lives. Sound familiar? These are the same characteristically we share as people. In order to protect these creatures, some animal advocates are pushing for scientific thought to lead society towards making the logical conclusion to give ‘legal’ rights to cetaceans. In the next several years, they intend to make their case in a court of law. If they’re successful, a dolphin could conceivably become the first non-human ever considered a legal person.
So, you want to become an aquanaut and wondering if you have the right stuff? To become an aquanaut you’ve got to be sure you can work and live underwater without dying and have a hot research topic that requires the long-term exposure under the sea. In a recent article in Gizmodo, Saul Rosser, Operations Director at Aquarius undersea research base, shared the definition of an aquanaut as, “A diver that lives under the water for 24 hours or more using saturation diving techniques and an underwater habitat to sleep, eat and work between dives.” Still wondering if you can do the job, make sure you check out the video above and read the rest of the story.