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Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Humans Have Probably Killed Off "Sea Monsters" ammended

Apologies but for some reason the quote by David Rains Wallace vanished when this post was published.  It is now included (again).

If you read any of my books, particularly Pursuing The Strange & Weird:A Naturalists Viewpoint, I expanded my previous research on possible unidentified sea creatures. 

Take away the fake photoshop images or You Tube videos and where are all of the unidentified sea creature reports?  I have, in conjunction with the Natural History Museum (London) and other bodies, identified carcasses found/photographed and to date all we have are whale remains in various states of decay.

Sir David Attenborough in Life On Earth (Readers Digest, 1980), as well as on TV programmes, stated his belief that there could very well be large, unidentified sea creatures -"sea monsters"- in the Earth's oceans.

Arch skeptic, Arthur C. Clarke stated on his TV series, as well as in the book of the series Arthur C Clarke's Mysterious World , along with Simon Welfare, John Fairley (Fontana 1980), his belief that unidentified, large sea creatures very likely exist.

In fact, there are a list of such statements from eminent persons past and present. For instance, 
David Rains Wallace, in Neptune's Ark: from Ichthyosaurs to Orcas (University of California Press, 2007), p XIX:

"On many days when I see harbor porpoises, countless half-dollar-sized Velella hydroids, jellyfish relatives with transluscent white sails and iridescent violet-blue bodies litter the beaches -doubtless a coincidence, but odd. Unidentified cetaceans pass offshore of the murre rock, showing taller dorsal fins than the porpoises.  Unexplained dark shapes and splashes occur. Point Resistance may be just a bedroom of the Pacific, but so many things lurk in that Neptunian mansion that there is no knowing what might slip in.  When the air is clear, a notorious haunt of monsters looms to the west..."

The 10th August 1741 sighting of an unidentified sea creature by Georg Wilhelm Steller (who gave his name to the Steller's Sea Cow) and his crew is also dealt with (pp. XX- XXI)

So, what is going on?  Are people on ships -passengers and crew- seeing but not reporting even in this age of digital recording devices such as cameras, phones etc?  Fear of ridicule or being called another You Tube faker?  Or are news services not reporting accounts while over indulging in statements from the crank fringes of Ufology?

In my book I look at how industrial fishing going back a long way has had an effect on fish populations and everything tied in to fish populations. The tiny prey is eaten by the larger predator which is, itself, eaten by a larger predator and on and on. If the tiny prey dies off because what it eats -fresh or rotting vegetable matter or even carcasses then what has its large predator to eat? Or the predators predator?

We know that seals, whales, dolphins, sea turtles, etc. were killed when they bumped into sea mines during World Wars 1 and 2.  But what of other creatures that met this fate but were not seen? Sea mines were heard to go off but no submarine/ship wreckage was found. What collided with the mines?

Whaling -we know the devastation that caused but still whaling continues, as does dolphin killing. Vast numbers of small squid are caught in industrial fishing. Fish species have declined to such an extent and yet, despite everything that has been learnt, new "virgin areas" for industrial fishing have been identified as they have "abundant species numbers". 

It is possible -we know whales attack squid for food and that much larger than usual squid may well attack whales "defensively"- that humans are killing off the food sources for so far unidentified large sea creatures.  It is rare to find whale carcasses because most are disposed of at sea by all manner of creatures -carcasses that are washed up show the signs of this.  So an unidentified carcass washes up somewhere -"It's just a whale" and even some seen at sea are dismissed that way.  

Back in the 19th century newspapers expected sea serpent reports at specific times of the year and at certain locations and even noted with some reports that "this is not usually the sea serpent is sighted nor the location" Yes, while gentlemen naturalists and 'experts' sat on their asses in comfortable chairs, others, including journalists for goodness sake, noted migratory dates and paths!

All ignored.  And we have many examples of animals ignored by science until after extinction at which point we hear shouts of "Why did no one look into this animal scientifically?" Even the fox, if you read my Canids book you will know how little we knew/know of the fox that currently lives in the UK and not a great deal about past native species. All that mattered was "How to find it.  How to kill it. How to hunt it." 

Sea creatures such as dolphins, whales, sea turtles and so on are recorded and filmed caught up in plastic waste.  One dead whale was recently found to have 30 plastic bags in its belly

Oil and other pollution, not to mention waste dumped "legally" into deep ocean areas have taken a toll -as researchers have recently discovered such unknown dumps.

And now we learn that pollutants banned in the 1970s are at work in deep seas.  It may well be possible that Humans have wiped out any large, unidentified sea creatures before they were "scientifically" discovered. The old newspaper clippings and reports in books may one day be seen as the only official record we have of species ab hominibus -killed by humans.

Pollutants banned in the 1970s found in depths of Pacific Ocean
Researchers say the idea that the deep ocean is safe from the effects of pollution "could not be further from the truth".

Monday 13 February 2017

The Mariana Trench filmed during James Cameron's Deepsea Challenge mission

Scientists say man-made cancer-causing chemicals, which have been banned since the 1970s, have been found in the deepest recesses of the Pacific Ocean.

Traces of high levels of the pollutants were found in scavenging shrimp-like amphipods living more than 10km (6 miles) below the surface in two trenches 7,000km (4,300 miles) apart.

Residue of polychlorinated biphenyls, better known as PCB's was found in the creatures' bodies at the bottom of the deepest oceans.

Researchers were shocked to find contamination levels similar to those found in a heavily polluted area just off Japan.

The findings are being published in Nature Ecology and Evolution, and now the study team is to investigate if microbeads have been swallowed by the deep sea creatures.

Report author Alan Jamieson said: "We still think of the deep ocean as being this remote and pristine realm, safe from human impact, but our research shows that, sadly, this could not be further from the truth.

The pollutants were found deep in the Mariana and Kermadec trenches

He told Sky News: "We can't assume now there are any places in the world that are still pristine."

The findings come after Sky's Ocean Rescue campaign was launched to raise awareness of the damage being done to our marine environment worldwide.

Chemicals found in the 2-3cm long crustaceans included polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), which have been defined as carcinogens and do not break down for decades.

Around 1.3 million tons of PCBs were widely used in industry from the 1930s until they were banned in the 1970s.

PCBs were used in plastics and carbonless copy paper as well as electrical equipment, glues and engine oils.

Industrial accidents and leakage from landfill have seen them released into the sea and they are extremely slow to break down.

Scientists also discovered polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) which were used as flame retardants and are known to reduce fertility.

The team used deep-sea landers to search the Mariana Trench, east of the Philippines, and the Kermadec Trench, north of New Zealand.

The Mariana Trench is the deepest part of the world's oceans. In 2012, Titanic director James Cameron made a record-breaking solo dive to the bottom of the trench in a submersible.

Scientists believe the pollutants have found their way into the remote trenches through contaminated plastic debris and dead animals sinking to the ocean floor.

Dr Jamieson (below) says the research shows the devastating effect man is having on the planet

Dr Jamieson, of Newcastle University's School of Marine Science and Technology, said: "The fact that we found such extraordinary levels of these pollutants in one of the most remote and inaccessible habitats on earth really brings home the long term, devastating impact that mankind is having on the planet.

"It's not a great legacy that we're leaving behind."


I would suggest everyone to check out the news page and the videos and other info there.

Also, I encourage people to check out the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) You Tube channel where you can find known and unknown (small) species they film during the course of their work (even if I do not approve of capturing live speciments for killing and dissection).

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