Daily Archives: 10/09/2005

Mobilis in Mobili

I’m reading 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea right now, and it is a rollicking fun adventure. I enjoy a nice popcorn adventure every now and then and this is certainly one.

However, I am amazed at the sudden plethora of references to Captain Nemo’s adventures popping up on the news. First a team of Japanese scientists finally managed to photograph a live giant squid, thousand of meters beneath the ocean’s surface. This of course invited comparisons to the battle of the Nautilus and the giant squid in the novel. Hmm, that’s a curious coincidence.

The researchers tracked sperm whales, figuring the giant cetacean’s love of calamari would lead them to the squid’s territory. They were able to photograph the inky beasty by trailing a lure of crushed shrimp attached to a camera.

Giant squid snared by tether

But then I came across a second synchronicity this week, a second phenomena described by Jules Verne and now captured on film. A US team of oceanographers poring over satellite imagery located the first definitive photographs of another event described in the adventures of Captain Nemo, bioluminescent oceans, ‘milky seas’ stretching as far as the eye could see. The scientists were able to discern the faint glow coming from an area of the Indian Ocean larger than the state of Connecticut in January 1995, a glow that was recorded on defense department satellites on three consecutive nights. The current hypothesis is that the glow is caused by billions of bacteria engaging in a sort of colossal protozoan orgy.

Milky shine upon the Indian Ocean