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Jellyfish at the Monterey Bay Aquarium - and World Oceans Day

Jellyfish. All photographs (except blue whale) Copyright © 2014 Alexander Chow-Stuart.

Today (Sunday, June 8, 2014) is World Oceans Day. 

71% - or almost three quarters - of our beautiful planet is covered by oceans, and yet we do not give them the love and respect that they deserve. 

We pollute them disgustingly (the Exxon Valdez and Deepwater Horizon disasters are only two of the most publicized instances of our damage to the oceans), even on an individual level, every time someone leaves a plastic candy bar wrapper or a soda can or styrofoam cup on the beach.

We overfish them, hugely depleting creatures such as the bluefin tuna and the cod. We eat clams that have taken 200 years to grow - and will not grow to that size again for another 200 years, if they survive at all. Despite treaties, dolphins and whales are still hunted (particularly by the Japanese) - these glorious creatures who are among the most magnificent on Earth.

Blue whale. Photograph courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

We know of 230,000 living species that inhabit the oceans - and yet we have only explored about 5% of the seas, leaving the vast mass of the underwater world still to be explored, and who knows how many more hundreds of thousands of plant and animal life to be discovered?

Without the oceans, we would not have a climate or atmosphere that makes our planet habitable. Earth would not be the "Blue Planet," the most precious jewel of our solar system.

Please take time to reflect on our oceans today. Support World Oceans Day and be thankful and respectful every day of the vast reservoir of life that the oceans provide.

This is a series of photographs of jellyfish that I took at Monterey Bay Aquarium. I took several series of different jellyfish - creatures that are among the most beautiful in the ocean - but I forgot to identify them. I would welcome any informed comments that can identify this one.

Jellyfish. All photographs (except blue whale) Copyright © 2014 Alexander Chow-Stuart.


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