Another Friday and another interesting smorgasbord of news and tidbits. First off is news about a new Ocean Health Index developed by marine scientists from a range of conservation, academic, and government institutions this scoring system was built to assess the health of the oceans, with an eye to the benefits that the seas provide to people. The US ranked with a score of 61 out of a possible 100. The world average is 60 with the lowest score going to Sierra Leone (36) and the highest going to Jarvis Island (86).
[via National Geographic]
We loved the classic Mac aquariums but for those of you looking for something a bit more modern, try this recycled iMac computer turned into aquarium. These tanks hold around 3.5 gallons of water and even featured a curved glass front to mimic the curve of the original CRT. The iMac aquariums are fitted with a Whisper 3i in-tank filter but we are sure some engaging reefer could improve the system to make it reef ready. Interested in one of these? They are custom made and available for $299.
We have always assumed that birds and fish flock and school as a way to protect themselves from predators but scientists haven’t been able to verify these hypotheses because they could not recreate this system for a measurable experiment. Now researchers have been able to create a method to verify that the swarming behavior is in fact, a way to avoid becoming prey to a predator. The involved experiment involved bluegill sunfish and laser beams. Make sure you read all about it, it is quite interesting.
Maybe your mother or grandmother has crocheted a unique clownfish sweater for the holidays because “you like fish” and if you did, this art installation might make you feel right at home. Crochet sea creatures swim, crawl and creep in a nautical environment created completely out of yarn. The Crochet Coral Reef is featured at the Florida Craftsmen Gallery in Downtown St. Petersburg, Florida. Nearly 300 people from around the world have stitched together their own piece of art to add to the colorful and imaginary ecosystem. The exhibit is part of a worldwide project called the Hyperbolic Crochet Coral Reef project started by two twin sisters who wanted to focus both on art and awareness. Now if we can just get our hands on a crochet toilet roll holder of an acropora colony, we’d be happy!
Manmade islands and floating islands are being added to resorts all over the globe and serving a variety of functions. Couple that with the fact that global warming and melting ice caps are creating rising ocean levels that are shrinking countries like the Maldives slowly each day, artificial islands may be a necessity. The Maldivian government has started a joint venture with the architectural firm Dutch Docklands International to build the world’s largest artificial floating-island project, which will stay above water no matter how many glaciers melt.
We know about space exploration and animal experiments, plus there was the whole thing on aquanauts, now there is an ongoing experiement to discover just what it takes for compelx organisms to survive living under the sea. Hampture is an underwater experiment using a hamster as the the official blog states, the project is an attempt to “learn firsthand what is involved in designing and constructing a complete underwater habitat capable of sustaining complex organisms.” Who knows, it may lead to a whole series of
cruel elementary school experiments or maybe even hamsters in space.
If Matt Pedersen got you in the mood for some lionfish ceviche and you are in the Palm Beach, Florida, area this weekend make sure you grab a team and enter the 2012 Palm Beach Lionfish Derby. The two-day event is an effort to help clear the local waters from this invasive predator with some prizes to the teams with the most, biggest, and smallest lionfish caught. Last year the derby cleared nearly 3,500 lionfish from the water. If you can’t rally up a team, head down there anyway to learn how to properly catch and handle lionfish safely, as well as understand how the species can harm local marine ecology. Spectators also have a chance to taste several delicious recipes as the fish are cut and cooked postcatch for a lionfish feast.