Welcome to another iteration of our Friday Smorgasbord or maybe its more of a Friday Tapas — small servings of some intriguing articles, videos and items that caught our attention this week. We have a good one today featuring prehistoric-looking fish, lava flows, purple sea orbs, and lending a hand to nature.
Look at them chompers!
We officially hate the Asian carp. This dastardly fish has invaded a good portion of the US and threatens ecosystems from the Mississippi River basin and its tributaries all the way to the Great Lakes. We’ve seen creative ways to battle carp like the Mad Max ninja approach of the Carp Hunters, but some are looking at nature to lend a hand by helping reintruduce the gar. This prehistoric-looking fish was pretty much eradicated from local water after getting the bad rap as a junk fish that endangered sportfishing. Now many are looking at this fish to wreak havoc on the Asian carp. Hopefully this will work (besides just giving you nightmares).
Thar she flows!
For the first time in three years, a lava flow reached the ocean on the Big Island of Hawaii, creating a mesmerizing site for visitors and tour groups. The lava flow has been emanating from the Kilauea volcano inside the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park since erupting on May 24. In the time since, it has been slowly crawling across the island, traveling 2 miles before reaching the ocean on Tuesday.
Mysterious purple orb has us puzzled
A strange purple orb tucked halfway under a rock off the coast of California was discovered by the exploration vessel Nautilus. The purple orb had researchers stumped and have them thinking it could be a pleurobranch or even possibly a new species. The researchers decided to collect the creature with the ROV’s suction, briefly fending off a nearby crab. They’ve since sent the organism to the Harvard Museum of Comparative Zoology for analysis. They also took samples for RNA analysis and plan to conduct a DNA analysis as well. It will take a few months before they figure out if its a new species.
Giving a baby seal a helping hand
We hate seeing wildlife caught up in things like discarded shopping bags, six-pack holders, fishing line, and nets. This little seal found itself caught in a ghost fishing net and some helpful beachgoers in Australia lent a hand and cut the little fella loose. Drifting fishing gear, also called ghost fishing, is a huge issue. A 2009 UN report estimated there were 640,000 tons of abandoned fishing nets on ocean floors around the world, while the U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service figures nearly 20 kilometres of net is lost for each day of the fishing season in the North Pacific alone.