"What on EARTH is that??"
Yesterday, we found perhaps the strangest organism we've ever seen in a trawl. Wrapped around a broken plastic coffee scoop was a silvery, eel-like fish as long as a pencil, with tiny, spines lining its sinewy body. Its body shape suggested it swam vertically.
No one has any idea what it is, not even the marine scientists on board. Our resident naturalist/author Redmond O Hanlin has a very fun hypothesis, but we won't bias you with his guess yet. Can anyone out there ID this fascinating creature?
2 days from Mauritius, and we're undoubtedly seeing an increase in plastic. This morning's trawl was full of trash - a broken cup, piece of a bowl, loads of broken down plastic film, and dozens of fragments, along with 6 small triggerfish, 5 pterapods, a few pelagic crabs, a strange, broccoli-like sea plant, several halobates (marine water skeeters), and another tiny, unidentified fish, possibly related to the Sargassum fish.
By the next blog entry, we will have either spotted land or landed. An incredible voyage coming to a close - and a third oceanic gyre now explored for plastic pollution. Though our research here will end tomorrow, the Beagle crew has agreed to continue gathering samples en route to Cape Town, hopefully coming closer to the center of the gyre. We will eagerly await their findings.
Saturday, April 3, 2010
April 2: Unidentified Swimming Objects
Latitude: 20 33 South, Longitude: 63 58 East