Yesterday I went to The Deep Sea exhibition at the National History Museum in London. I’m so excited about the exhibit that I’ve provided the link as well as what turned out to be a fairly decent screenshot:
They had all kinds of cool stuff! As soon as you enter the exhibit you are hit with the best of the freak fish – vipers and spiky crabs! But that’s not all! As soon as you walk around the corner they have an exact replica of the bathysphere used by two of the first deep-sea explorers in the 30s. Really, really cool. I kept imagining myself going inside it, floating down and then opening the door to a level in Bioshock.
For one of the descriptions about molluscs they called in an expert. I don’t remember his name, but I definitely remember his job title: Mollusc Curator.
Imagine that guy in a bar.
“So, what do you do?” says hot girl.
“Oh, I’m just a mollusc curator. You know, I specialize in mollusca.”
I’d love to say that! I would probably have never gotten married if I was a mollusc curator because I’d never get tired of meeting people in bars just so they could ask me what I do for a living.
Conversely, if I was out looking for a guy and he told me he was a mollusc curator I’d be like “take me out!”
I think I’m going to get a book about deep sea creatures from Amazon today. I got a book about elephants from the library last year and I learned so many things. It paid off, too, because I got to impress people with my elephant knowledge. At work we had to edit a press release about an elephant exhibition/charity, and I got to hold up my finger and say, “Let me tell you a little about elephants.”
I’m pretty sure people actually listened because I didn’t have to trail off like I do sometimes when I realize what I’m talking about is so boring that everyone who started out listening to me has lost interest and is now engaging in their own private conversations.
Back to the fun stuff.
Here is a short list of my new favorite deep sea creatures:
*all pictures are from the NHM London website
Bone-eating snot flower worms
(I couldn’t find a picture that accurately represented how scary they are in the flesh, or in the specimen to be more accurate. This is the first thing you see at the exhibit, and their teeth are so huge that they don’t fit in the fish’s mouth so they stick out all over the place.)
And a few fun facts about deep sea creatures:
According to the NHM site/exhibit:
The Angler, or Black Sea Devil (see picture at bottom of post): Once a male finds a female, it attaches itself to the female’s underside with its teeth. It remains there as a parasite, feeding from the female until it is needed to fertilise the eggs.
It takes deep sea life about 50 years to completely finish off every speck of a whale that has died and fallen to the ocean floor.
The Giant Squid’s eyes are about the size of a dinner plate, which makes its eyes the largest of animal on Earth!
Some fish have evolved so they are almost invisible by having light undersides and dark tops, so if you are looking from the bottom up they blend in with light coming down, and if you are above them they blend in with the darkness. Makes sense, and I probably have already learned this in school and just forgot, but the video was really cool. That’s right, the exhibition also has videos.
Lastly, my favorite Finding Nemo quotes:
Dory: I shall call him Squishy and he shall be mine and he shall be my Squishy. Come on, Squishy Come on, little Squishy.
[baby talk, the jellyfish stings her]
Dory: Ow. Bad Squishy, bad Squishy.
Marlin: …and the sea cucumber turns to the mollusk and says, “With fronds like these, who needs anemones?”
Dory: Well, let’s just ask someone for directions.
Marlin: Who do you want to ask, the *speck*? There’s no one here!