Friday 25 January 2013

The Hidden Life in Pond Water

ALIENS! They're all aliens! Aliens from outer space! Either that or pond water. I always get outer space and pond water mixed up. It's probably the main reason why my astronautical ambitions have been so thoroughly frustrated all these years. There are only so many times you can ruin a good spacesuit before the powers that be lose all confidence in you. That's what I've discovered.

But enough about me.

Do you remember Daniel Stoupin and his fantastic video Microscopic Worlds: Life That We Don't See? It was an amazing glimpse into the ridiculous otherness of microscopic life.

Well, he's only gone and done it again!

Daniel Stoupin
A little more about The Hidden Life in Pond Water
Check out his microscopic photography!

There are lot's of our old friends, too!

Water Fleas, those transparent crustaceans in all their jittery, hyperactive glory (unless and until they get eaten alive);
Bryozoa, colonial filter filters who are perhaps the closest any non-cnidarian can get to the weirdness of coral;
Ostracods, those crustacean heroes in a whole-shell;
Hydra, those Towers of Malice, stinging hunger and expandable gut. You even see them eat! Horror.

There are also Water Mites, which we barely touched on a million years ago (rounded to the nearest million), with their flailing, feathery legs;
Insect nymphs, larvae and pupae in all their abhorrent detail;
and Ciliates, those protists with their cilia waving away to draw food toward them.

And of course, glittering baubles of algae. Where would we be without glittering baubles of algae? Probably on a moonbase, staring down at a dead and desolate world. But we're not! So I guess I don't need to be an astronaut after all. I can just go to the pond.


AsymmetricalXeno said...

Hydra's are a favourite of mine, they remind me of HP Lovecraft's cosmic horror aliens the Flying polyps.

Joseph JG said...

Hydra's are great! Their like tiny Sea Anemones, but somehow they're even more scary.

TexWisGirl said...

and people ask me why i don't swim in our pond... :)

Joseph JG said...

Hahahah! And we didn't even get to the turtles with their bitey jaws!

Unknown said...

Very cool. Just read a Scientific American blog on a video of rotifers that won won an honorable mention in the 2012 Nikon Small World in Motion Competition. It's just astonishing the life around us.

Joseph JG said...

Just checked out that video; it's amazing! It's difficult to get one's mind around the numbers of such tiny creatures all over the place. It's an utterly bewildering world!