Monday, August 22, 2005

Many times I've wondered how much there is to know

I watched a tv show last night about a photography expedition to the bottom of the Amazon – a near-incomprehensibly massive river, larger than the Nile, Mississippi and Yangtzee combined, miles across and hundreds of feet deep in spots. The water is murky from decomposing vegetation and the constant introduction of mud and silt at the hands of the precipitous weather, and harbors some of the most deadly creatures known. Many of the dives were fruitless thanks to the soupiness of the waters, but others yielded fascinating life forms and discoveries, many previously believed to only live in salt water. Giant manta rays. Knifefish. Armored catfish. Large colonies of sponges.

I would never in my life imagine that there is a species of fish whose diet consists of wood. But there is. Only one species – and it lives in the Amazon. And a bizarrely prehistoric looking beast it is.

There is a small, slender parasitic fish that enters the gills of a host and feasts on its blood. They plague humans as well, entering their bodies through the urethra.

(Shudder).

I was struck with the thought of how easy it is to think you are familiar with your surroundings, and how quickly one can become arrogant and superior in attitude as we skim across the sheath of our world. Yet under running the surfaces are colonies of the unfamiliar. Some benign, while others are deceptively dangerous. To dip one’s toes in the water, one must first decide if the thrill and enrichment of new discovery is worth the risk of possible injury - and if so, how severe. How much is one really willing to risk in the face of that which we cannot imagine for simply lacking a point of reference?

3 comments:

Jen said...

I was watching the same program last night. Wasn't that cool? How did you like that giant armored catfish?

Emit-Flesti said...

Life itself is simply amazing.
:)

Michael said...

Very interesting.

Thanks for the comment on my site regarding my 43 Things.

I LOVED climbing the temple in Chichen Itza, it was totally amazing, even though there were a whole bunch of other people up there with me.

I think the best part of that trip though was that my Dad went with me. My parents have a 3-week timeshare there and I went for a week and he and I took that laborious bus ride from Cancun, but we spent the day together.

Check out my pictures at http://www.flickr.com/photos/mlehet/13616953/

I really enjoy traveling, last year we went to London, since the beginning of this year I've been to FL (twice), Mexico, San Diego, Pennsylvania, Ohio, we're going to New Orleans over Labor Day and then to Las Vegas the end of September.

Next year we're planning on going to Europe. I really want to see the Tulips in Holland before I leave this earth.

Where have you been? It's always fun to travel in packs!