Wednesday, June 8, 2011

A trip into the past

Wow, so it has been a while. However, nothing super fascinating (at least to others) has really happened in the last few months.
Well, thats not entirely true...a few weeks ago I went to Fortesque, NJ with my Mom and her boyfriend. This town, located on the Delaware Bay, is usually pretty quiet except for a few weeks at the end of May when horseshoe crabs migrate their to lay their eggs. And I don't mean ten horseshoe crabs or twenty, I mean hundreds! It is almost impossible to not step on the trains of 5 they seem to form.
Along with these crabs are the thousands of birds who migrate from all over the Western Hemisphere to munch on the yummy eggs (they were green and kinda hard...sounds delicious, no?).  So, between the crabs and the birds, it is a crazy madhouse that is absolute heaven to a marine lover.
And while not everyone has to admit that horseshoe crabs are cute or anything, you have to give them respect. Here is a creature that, for much longer than humans have been around, has not changed. Like the nautilus, these creatures have been the exact same from the days when Babylonia was not even a twinkle in someone's eyes. When you pick up one of these harmless creatures, it really is like looking back in time. It is extremely primitive, but it has no reason to change. My mom and i were questioning the weird orgy-like breeding patterns and how on Earth they could possibly work. But they do, and it made me wonder how long they have been coming to Fortesque, and how the bay has changed, and how they keep finding their way back. It is fascinating.
It also makes one think of human's impacts on the ocean. I do not want to go off on a tirade but, these creatures that have been around for millions of years, are threatened by the warmer oceans, higher acidity, and technology that throws off their sense of the magnetic field.  It may sound dumb but, when you pick up a crab that is about the same age as you, you cannot help but want to save them.

It was fascinating and gave me, as the Ocean tends to do, such awe and respect.  I may still be unsure as to what I plan to do post Undergrad, but I am willing to put in the blood, sweat, and tears it takes to try and restore the blue planet to what it was and allow the horseshoe crabs to keep coming back to Fortesque for another million years.

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