News & Views

WHALE SHARK RESCUE: Measure Twice, Cut Once

Here's a cool viddy that popped up on YouTube a couple of weeks ago. This poor whale shark, found swimming off Baja California, somehow got a very heavy rope wrapped around itself, and this team of divers managed to approach it and cut it free. The rope evidently had been in place a long time, as it looks like it was studded with barnacles and other growth and had cut way into the shark.

How do YOU spell relief???

I bet that was one happy fish.

Biology lesson: whale sharks are huge filter-feeding fish that snack on tiny creatures like plankton and krill. They are, in fact, the largest fish in the world and can grow to over 40 feet in length. They look good in polka dots, don't you think???

Kudos to the crew of Solmar V for helping this one out.

And Speaking of Tiny Creatures: over in Oz they are currently having a mega plague of red tide.

Red tide in Sydney

The pool's cool, but the seawater is definitely off limits for a while! (Photo courtesy of The Australian)

Bondi Beach outside of Sydney, and several others besides, are closed for the duration.

The algae responsible for the mess is Noctiluca scintillans, which looks like this way up close and personal:

Noctiluca scintillans

They are commonly known as "sea sparkles," because in addition to sometimes forming red tides they are also wildly luminescent. So even though you can't go swimming at Bondi right now, the light show at night might be worth turning out for.

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