At a depth of 20 meters, lying face up on the sandy bed of the Sea of Cortez, Baja California, l was lying in wait to photograph a fishing cormorant. I was constantly forced to change my position since it was impossible to say from which direction the bird would come. With my fisheye lens l also wanted to get as close as possible to the action. Finally, everything fell into place: in my immediate vicinity the cormorant plummeted bullet-like into a shoal of grunts, scattering them in all directions to isolate individual fish’.
The hard defensive calcarious structures (spicules) incorporated within the bodies of many soft-bodied marine invertebrates including Gorgonian corals, Sponges and Hoiothuria accumulate as “coral sand” on the sea floor and form a major constituent of many tropical white sandy beaches’.
This is the mysterious spectacle of bioluminescence. Its hard not to revel in the beauty of this remarkable natural phenomenon. These glowing creatures are primarily a product of the ocean. They are the primary source of light in the largest and darkest area of habitable land on Earth, the deep sea. On land, they are most commonly seen as glowing fungus on wood (foxfire) or in the few families of luminous insects (fireflies).
Submerged tree in the Grüner See (Green Lake), Austria. The name “Green Lake” originated because of its emerald-green water. The clean and clear water comes from the snowmelt from the karst mountains. During the winter, the lake is only 1–2 m deep and the surrounding area is used as a county park.However, during the spring, when the temperature rises and the snow melts, the basin of land below the mountains fills with water. The lake reaches its maximum depth of around 1 m from mid-May to June and is claimed to look the most beautiful at this time. In July, the water begins to recede.
My eye caught a dark form lying on the river bottom. It took me a few moments to comprehend what I had stumbled upon. Lying peacefully in the shallow waters of the river, only a few meters from shore, was a full-grown cougar. The contrast between the serenity of the scene I was witnessing and what must have played out here in the cougar’s final moments made me shiver. It was the first shiver of many, as I stripped down and waded out into the icy water to get this shot. x
Jade Iceberg, Antarctica. When seawater at depths of more than 1,200 feet freezes to the underside of massive ice shelves, it forms ‘marine ice.’ Enormous hunks of ice break off from the ice shelf, creating icebergs. When one of these icebergs overturns, its jade underside is revealed. The wondrous color of this ‘marine ice’ results from organic matter dissolved in the seawater at those great depths. Green icebergs are infrequently seen because their verdant bellies are underwater; it’s only when they flip over, a rare event, that their richly colored regions can be seen before they melt.