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Archive for December 9th, 2014

The hydromedusa (Pacific Ocean seafloor). Image via the National Geographic website.

The hydromedusa (Pacific Ocean seafloor). Photo by David Wrobel, Seapics, via the National Geographic website.

David Attenborough’s The Blue Planet series (2001, BBC) is one of the most wonderful tv programmes that I have ever seen. I particularly loved the segments shot on the seabed, down where it is so dark that there’s a wonderfully exotic world of strange creatures beyond our imagination. My cat also found these creatures particularly fascinating; it could be quite difficult to see what was happening on screen while he hopped around trying to catch them.

The hydromedusa (above) is one such creature. Isn’t it beautiful? It is one stage in the lifecycle of a jellyfish, having budded asexually from bottom-dwelling polyps. To me, it’s an organic rose window, free floating rather than being caught in stone. The darkness of the water adds to the effect of the bioluminescence and the colours, as does the grey stone of medieval cathedrals, as the backdrop to such brightness.

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