Friday, January 13, 2012

Amazing nature

I have always been amazed by what you find in nature. We, humans, consider ourselves quite something... but we still have very few clues on what's happening around us. That seems especially true about aquatic life: we know less about seas and oceans than we know about space - I would say curious, wouldn't you?

As a person with some breathing issues I have a very healthy respect (read 'fear' :)) for water. I thought myself how to swim so I never learned to swim properly: I have to have my head above the water to feel comfortable... which is no way to swim, honestly! Yes, on my bucket list there is a point about taking swimming lessons, maybe someone will be able to teach me how to synchronize my breathing with my moves :)

Anyhow - the only way I am totally OK in water is by wearing a life jacket. I still remember the thrill of our vacation 10 years ago, in Mexico, in the Yucatan Peninsula. Besides a visit to the Chichen Itza (right before they closed the pyramid) we booked a day in the nature. In hindsight - we were 100% irresponsible. We didn't realize (and never asked either, because we didn't realize!) it would be a van, the driver (a Mexican that spoke no English), the guide, the two of us and 2 other ladies. If that wouldn't be enough - there was nothing like going to places well known or traveled... nooo... private beaches, private closed parts of the jungle, and so on. By private I don't mean 'expensive villas inhabited by millionairs'. I mean 'there is no soul on this land whatsoever!' Since we already booked it and the guide seemed a nice guy, we went ahead with the day. It is (to this day) one of the best days of my life, and for sure the best adventure ever.

Besides jumping from 10 m into a cenote (wearing a life jacket) and having a true Mexican lunch (in the driver's backyard) - we experienced a swim in a splendid lagoon. The swim had 2 parts: one part where the river will drop into the ocean, where we swam with myriads of fish in all the colours ever imaginable... and non-imaginable. I have never seen such an amazing variety... and I have never seen such brilliant colours. After he let us enjoy - we proceeded to the 2nd part, out in the ocean. He wanted to show us some giant turtles - we saw them. But that's not what impressed me the most. What I will never forget was this amazing moment when we practically swam next to a huge stingray. There is nothing more exciting than almost touching this marvelous creature, seeing it undulating its beautiful 'wings' through the water. Despite my complete fear of water I understood the attraction some people feel for the water life. For the first time in my life I understood why a Jacques Cousteau would spend his life out on the seas and oceans of the planet, trying to understand this  magnificent world and its creatures.

I will leave you with a splendid video from National Geographic: a small fish mimicking a Mimic Octopus that mimics yet another fish. And you say we understand our own planet?!

Fish Mimics Mimic Octopus That Mimics Fish - National Geographic

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