Wednesday, July 14, 2004


When I visited the website of the Sir Alister Hardy Foundation for Ocean Science for yesterday's blog, I discovered a gallery of exquisite microphotographs of plankton.

Plankton are tiny plants, animals or bacteria that live in the sea drifting hither and yon as the currents take them. Their name derives from the same Greek root as planet, meaning "wanderer."

The little animals you see in the gallery (scroll down on the linked page to see thumbnails) are typically smaller than the head of a pin.

These wonderful creatures are as much a part of their medium as clouds are part of the sky, as if water itself had a tendency to thicken and to flower. They undulate their spectral bells and wings like visitors from a world of pure spirit.