Thursday, June 5, 2008

Planet Earth

While looking for a picture of a whale shark to put in this post, I came across a headline of an online article: "Whale Shark Research Divers Wanted in Costa Rica."


Don't get me wrong--I have actually always been fascinated by whale sharks. One of my early memories of reading is when I sneaked up to my dad's office one afternoon and raided his bookshelves (you never quite know what you'll find on those shelves. Anything from the Chronicles of Narnia to...well, just about anything. Ask siblings for some of the titles they've seen on those shelves, and you'll get a selection of genres rivaled by any library). That day, the book I found was about the deep ocean. I can still remember seeing that illustration of the whale shark, and the "average man" to scale in comparison. I was shocked--in my little girl mind, I had no idea that things in the ocean were that big. After all, Aaron had told me that the Giant Squid in "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea" wasn't how could this be? But it was in a book, and they could describe what the whale shark ate, so I believed. My life was changed.

Since that time, I have been fascinated with the ocean. This passion was recently solidified in my discovery of the TV series, "Planet Earth." For an independent assignment in my Science Education class this last semester, Abi and I had a "Planet Earth" night. We watched, in awe, as we were thrown into a realm of cave-diving, bat colonies, ocean depths, and the fate of poor bait fish. Most impressive to me was the one on "Deep Ocean." Later, I watched this with my friend Casey, and he laughed at my reaction to the shots of the Giant Manta Rays. Those things are nine meters across--and I was fascinated and petrified. I know they don't eat you...but the sheer fact that, technically, they could probably fit you into their mouths....

For all my love of the deep ocean, I don't think I could ever scuba dive. The closest I'll get is either 20 yards from the shore, or sitting safe at home watching Planet Earth from a few hundred miles inland.

I recommend "Planet Earth" to any and all interested parties-- and it is the kind of thing that would make a great gift to students and teachers alike. You know...August is a pretty good month to think about giving things....

What do you mean, birthday?

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