Patterns of the Sea

Posted in Under the Sea on May 31st, 2009 by MadDog
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I like to fancy myself as a visual aritst. We all like to dream, don’t we? As I sit here in Chatham, Illinois I’m dreaming of home and the fantastic patterns of the sea. So, to soothe my homesickness, I’ve been rumaging through my thousands of underwater images for a few that I’ve not yet properly digested (in other words, I’ve not bashed them into submission with Photoshop).

I’ll now unload a few of them on you to see if I can get you dreaming of the sea.

This is commonly called Brain Coral. I don’t particularly enjoy calling it that, but I don’t have my references here and I’m too bone lazy to research the proper taxonomic names over the internet. A book is much easier:

Coral Pattern
I very much like the pattern and colours in this image, again of coral. I use an image similar to this as a screen saver. Grab it and use it if you like:

Coral Pattern

I have another post specifically about ocean patterns here. You might enjoy it. This image is of what is commonly called Solitary Coral, or, if you please, Mushroom Coral:

Coral Pattern

I don’t remember even the common name for this coral, but I like it nevertheless. Another nice Windows backgound or screen saver:

Coral PatternThe image above reminds me more of flowers than coral.

Here is another completely different sort of coral:

Coral PatternI’m not sure what to say about this one. It appears a bit intestinal, eh?

Coral PatternMany corals are brightly coloured. Here I see flowers again:

Coral Pattern

Now I’ll leave you with a puzzle. I cannot figure out what this is. It is growing on a branch of Balck Coral. It measures only about 2cm. Anybody out there have an idea?

What IS it?
Tomorrow is a final family day and then we are off to Sedona, Arizona to visit an old friend. I’ll also be getting my ‘dream tattoo‘.

I don’t mind the pain. You have to earn your tattoos. It will be my final tattoo, however, so I want it to be a genuine work of art. Wish me luck.

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Ocean Patterns

Posted in Under the Sea on January 2nd, 2009 by MadDog
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I’ve always been fascinated by the infinite variety and complexity of natural pattens. I reckon that nowhere else on the planet are these patterns more striking and varied than in the ocean.

Sometimes the more mobile of the inhabitants can form patterns. These patterns are less rigidly organized and regular. They change from moment to moment. Here Reticulated Dascyllus (Dascyllus reticulatus) hover in a cloud over plate coral:

A cloud of Reticulated Dascyllus (Dascyllus reticulatus) hangs over plate coral

Bigeye Trevally (Caranx sexfasciatus) form a solid mass of fish. This creates a mesmerizing pattern that looks artificial:

A solid mass of Bigeye Trevally (Caranx sexfasciatus)

The spots on a giant clam mimic a leopard:

Giant Clam pretends it's a leopard

Extended coral polyps feed on passing yummy bits. The flower-like polyps extend starlike, gather food, and then clench like a fist to “swallow” the meal every two or three seconds:

Coral polyps feeding in the ocean current

Being less mobile, the stone-like skeletons of coral serve up more visual feasts. Here you can see that the plates under the growing edge of this coral are so thin that sunlight passes through and casts a golden glow:

Sunlight glows through thin coral walls

The familiar Brain Coral presents a treacherous maze:

Brain Coral - not as yukky as it sounds

Algae growing upon and within the coral can look like tree-lined streets between twisty rows of apartment blocks:

Twisty, tree-lined avenues on coral

A bumpy coral head doesn’t disrupt the persistent labyrinth:

The maze goes right over the hills on this coral

Evenly spaced alien vehicles travel along canyons on a strange planet:

Alien vehicles navigating twisty roads on coral

Holding with the alien theme, I wonder how many UFOlogists would swear that this photograph must show the skin of a visitor from another world:

Close-up of the skin of a reptilian alien discovered in my garden in Madang, Papua New Guinea

Some patterns are so strange that no appropriate title comes to mind:

Weird coral pattern that defies description

I snapped all of the coral pattern images above in a single thirty-minute dive. There were many more patterns, but I selected only a few, since there’s a time limit for staring at these things.

If you want to get trippy at work, download the larger versions of these images and use them for screensavers or desktop backgrounds.

It can make your head go funny.

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