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Friday, April 22, 2016

Sponges, Fishes and Dragons

Life exists on Earth because of the sea. Life awoke in the sea, reached its greatest diversity in the sea, and conquered the land by crawling from the sea. Since the first primitive humans beheld the oceans, we have wondered at their secrets and the life hidden within their 1.3 billion cubic kilometres of water.
            One thing scientists agree on is that we still don’t know all about such life. According to the 10-year Census of Marine Life (CoML), which reported on 6,000 new species and estimated that there were hundreds of thousands more, we don’t even come close.
            The majority of still-undiscovered species probably lie in what we may call the Old World Seas, the waters fished and traversed by the oldest human civilisations. The Pacific and Indian Oceans, along with the Red and Mediterranean Seas encompass some 245 million square kilometres. The peoples living around the Old World Seas have always known they held countless fishes and other animals: some well-known now, but also some of whose existence we have only hints and legends.


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