Category: Weird Articles
Published on Tuesday, 06 May 2014 00:00
Seawater, as anyone with a brain will know, is salt water from a sea or an ocean. Every kilogram of seawater has approximately 35 grams of dissolved salt. But other than salt, there are a lot of other things that you are accidentally gulping down every time you take a nice, refreshing swim in the sea. Take a look into what nasty stuff actually lives in just a single drop of seawater. If you think you are alone when you go skinny dipping, well I hate to break it to you, but you are not.
Photographer David Littschwager
captured this insane shot of a single drop of seawater magnified 25 times under the microscope that reveals a whole new tiny world you probably didn't know exists. Just a little drop of seawater is enough for an entire ecosystem of crab larva, diatoms, bacteria, fish eggs, zooplankton, and even worms to peacefully (and secretly) coexist.
A diagram numbering the organisms you see in the photo above
According to Dive Shield
, these are the creatures you see in the first photo.
1. Crab Larva
Less than a quarter of an inch long, this delicate, transparent arthropod has a long way to go before it reaches maturity and yet its various body parts are already recognizable. Tiny pincered claws can be clearly seen and so can a pair of vivid bug-eyes, their multi-faceted compound lenses just discernible.
These coiled filaments are representatives of some of the most primitive life forms on Earth. Among the very first organisms to have evolved, cyanobacteria evolved a way of harnessing the power of sunlight to produce sugars - a process called photosynthesis, which liberates oxygen into the atmosphere. The billions of cyanobacteria in the oceans are responsible for producing a large proportion of oxygen to this day.
It is impossible to calculate how many individual diatoms are alive in the world's oceans at any one time - the number runs into quadrillions. These small, boxy single-celled organisms are a type of algae, encased in a silica cell wall of great beauty. When they die, these tiny cell walls sink to the bottom of the sea, where they may be compacted to form rock.
These bug-like creatures are the most common zooplankton (animal plankton) and may be the most important animals in the oceans, as they form the most abundant source of protein. They are tiny, shrimp-like crustaceans, with a teardrop-shaped body and large antennae. Copepods are energetic swimmers, have a well-developed nervous system and engage in vigorous attempts to evade capture. They form the basic foodstuff of countless fish species. Some scientists believe that, taken together, copepods would form the largest single animal mass on Earth.
These long, translucent organisms are arrow worms, predatory marine animals that form a large constituent part of the plankton. For plankton they are big - an eighth of an inch to five inches in length. They have a nervous system, two eyes, a mouth equipped with teeth and two tiny spines either side of their heads with which they grapple their prey (smaller plankton). Some can even inject paralytic venom.
6. Fish Eggs
Nearly all fish lay eggs, although a few (including some sharks) give birth to live young. A few species protect and nurture their eggs (most notably seahorses, where the male takes on this role). But most fish species release huge numbers of fertilized eggs into the open sea, a large percentage of which will be eaten.
7. Marine Worm
A multi-segmented polychaete equipped with dozens of tiny, hair-like appendages with which it propels itself through the water.
This article that you have just read and might have regretted doing so, could just make you avoid going into the sea for a very, very long time, even though I got to admit that the crab larva at the bottom right-hand corner of the picture looks pretty cute with its buggy eyes.