Welcome one, welcome all!!!
Did you know that over 70% of the Earth's surface is covered by water? This makes our planet quite unique, as its the only one in our Solar System with liquid water. So when do we get to rebaptise the planet "Ocean"? ;o)
Did you know that there are over 250'000 identified marine species? 98% of which live on the ocean floors (benthic species) and only 2% in the water column (pelagic species). Plants, animals, micro-organisms... Plants that range from single-celled algae (phytoplankton) to the prairies of seagrass Posidonia oceanica that carpet parts of the Mediterranean seabed, to the impressive kelp forests along the western coast of North America. Microscopic zooplankton which is eaten by slightly larger krill which in turn is eaten by the largest animal on the planet, the massive blue whale! There are animals that live "stuck" on the ocean floor (corals, sponges etc.), and animals that cross vast distances to get from breeding grounds to feeding grounds each year (humpback whales for example). Life on this planet originated in the oceans and eventually crawled out onto land, and in the oceans we can find species which have been around for millions of years!
But the oceans are more than just the home of some of our favourite animals, more than waters we love to play in while on holiday at the beach, more than inspiration for our poets. The oceans help to regulate the Earth's temperature by absorbing solar radiation (heat) and the constant-moving ocean currents distribute this heat energy around the globe! The North Atlantic Drift, a northern extension of the Gulf Stream (a very powerful warm North Atlantic current), is responsible for the climate in Northern and Western Europe being warmer than it would be if that current were to be disrupted. So, in theory, if global warming were to cause the melting of the Greenland glaciers, the influx if this massive amount of cold freshwater could interrupt the circulation of the North Atlantic Drift and the result would be a colder winter in Europe. So global warming could lead to colder winters in Europe!!! Ironic, right?
Life on this planet depends more on the oceans than most people realize. The oceans are more fragile than they appear. Overfishing is constantly destabilizing food webs. Coastal habitats are under constant assault by human activities (construction, industry, tourism, agriculture...); and since all water eventually ends up in the ocean, people who live in the interior need to realize their actions also have an impact on the oceans! Pollution on land (industrial, urban or agricultural wastes) can end up in the water through run-off when it rains, run-off waters which end up in rivers which lead to the sea... Not to mention more spectacular incidents like oil spills, or that giant island of plastic floating around in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Reduce the amount of plastic you use people!!!
So it seems only fair that we take at least one day out of the year to think about our planet's seas and oceans. One day to think about what they mean for us. One day to think about what we can do for them! One day. June 8th. WORLD OCEANS DAY! This year we are asked to think about this theme: "Together we have the power to protect the ocean". Need ideas on what you can do? Visit the official World Oceans Day website, plenty of ideas there (make a promise for the ocean!), and a list of events being organized for WOD. Maybe there's something taking place near you? Nothing? Well there are quite a few events taking place online, including our very own Oceanic Blog-A-Thon! ;o)
I can't believe this is already the FIFTH Oceanic Blog-A-Thon! I have high hopes for some wonderful posts in this edition, from bloggers on at least three different continents! :o)
And now, without further ado...
LET THE 2013 OCEANIC BLOG-A-THON BEGIN!!!
- After five days of providing clues, CrazyCris from Here and There and Everywhere has finally revealed the identity of this year's Mystery Marine Animal in Who am ? I am a... Check it out, see if you can guess who it is before the answer is provided, or just learn about this amazing living fossil!
- The sea has been a source of inspiration for people throughout the ages. Over at ChrisB's Thoughts, Chris uses her five favourite quotes on the subject to help her illustrate her love of the sea! So go read The Sea and ponder these pearls of wisdom that feed our souls and help awaken our consciousness for a more meaningful life.
- The Mediterranean Sea, the Mare Nostrum, is probably the "oldest" sea out there in terms of its relationship with humanity. It has been enjoyed, explored, exploited since ancient Greek and Roman times. Its animals a source of food and of inspiration for the people who have lived around its basin for the past several thousand years... In The Roman Mysteries: The Dolphins Of Laurentum Juliette, from Pop Classics, reviews a novel that takes place in those ancient times and features swimming with dolphins (the stuff dreams are made of!) and sponge diving. Definitely sounds like a good read!
- In World Oceans Day the one and only Mountain Mermaid Loui♥ shares her joy at returning to her marine playground of the Florida Gulf coast! It's an area still suffering from the aftermath of the BP oil spill two years ago and although we -on a personal level- can't do much about tragedies like that one, Loui♥ gives us a few ideas about things we can do to keep our oceans clean and safe! So go read her advice and then start following it!
- With Benidorm Island - Under! And World Oceans Day! the crazy gang at CacheCrazy.com have decided to join in the World Oceans Day fun by hosting a guest post by CrazyCris in which she takes us down to see what's beneath the surface in one little corner of the Mediterranean Sea. Here's a clue: there are lots of fish down there! And a bottle of beer... :p
- New Zealand is one of the most gorgeous places on the planet and we'd all love to visit (thank you Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit!)... but most people only know about the beauty to be found there on dry land. Gabrielle Seamonkey Beans has just launched her new blog Pouncing in Puddles with a special post World Oceans Day from Aotearoa! New Zealand's underwater beauty can rival almost any other place in the world, and she's got the photos to prove it! So go admire these stunning fishy shots and when you plan your inevitable trip to the land of the Long White Cloud be sure to include an opportunity to look under the waves. ;o)
- Most people who have seen Finding Nemo are entranced by this story of a father crossing the ocean in search of his son, not Anthea from Petite Dynamite! In Coral Spawning: World Oceans Day Blog-A-Thon she shares the real object of her fascination with this movie: the Great Barrier Reef! Go see what she has to say about the place with the largest concentration of life on our planet!
- For World Oceans Day 2013 River Song from Desert Spirit's Fire looks at things we can do to help the Ocean. Why don't you go and see what ideas she has that you can promise to the ocean?
So go hang out with our blogging friends for a while, leave them a comment so they'll know you've been there... and remember to check back in here over the weekend as this post will be updated whenever I receive new submissions! I'll announce updates on Twitter and on the Facebook event page. Remember: anyone who wants to is free to join in! Just write a post on your blog, link back here to the Oceanic Blog-A-Thon and then give me the web address and I'll add it to the list! If you don't have a blog and would like to write something no problemo! Get in touch with me (crazycrisblogger at gmail) and you can post it here on my blog.