Oceans of Opportunity

the Hall of Ocean Life

Yesterday was a unique day in delving into the psychology of a more permanent presence in the sea.

I departed New Haven Connecticut by train to Grand Central Station in New York City. From Grand Central, I made two short subway hops, eventually taking me to the American Museum of Natural History located on Central Park West. The full two hour and fifteen commute flew by, yet provided ample time to be productive by prepping for a business meeting and working on my laptop. My first thought was, “hey-this is cool, I’m making the city commute that millions of New Yorkers make every day”. My second thought was the stark realization that from New Haven all the way to the Museum, I never left the labyrinth of subways and train stations. I made the entire commute inside, with absolutely no exposure to the outside environment.

The folks that do this daily likely take it for granted, but as a newbie New Yorker, the underground transportation system struck me with amazement. This ability to forgo the outside world is analogous to the future of Aquatica – a life beneath the waves. Replace the trains and subways with pressurized vessels and mini submarines, and encapsulate the station stops and transfers, and this may very well be the future. Will it be dark, polluted, cold, wet – just like the subway? Hard to know, as the many depictions of a future undersea world show rich color and glass laden structures and transports, providing ample opportunity for observation of the surrounding alien environment. In reality, however, our civilization may shift to coastal or even offshore dwelling for reasons other than the excitement of looking out of those pretty windows. It may be that overpopulation and the stress placed on terra firma just becomes too much, and industrialized structures begin to take shape on and below the sea.

After a brief business meeting at the Museum, I roamed around, again never seeing a window or the light of day, but nonetheless took an exciting walk through their Hall of Ocean Life. There, the Museum has represented all of the major ocean and coastal habitats well. It was like a walk through memory lane, and I realized how fortunate I have been to travel the world several times over to participate in the study of the majority of these environments.

I can tell you however, that there are environments that were not represented, and that these still warrant very early and purist exploration to bring their secrets back to our species.

It’s only a matter of time…and that time is appraoching.

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