How many oceans are there?

In reality, there is just one ocean.

However, I understand the confusion as of late on the geographic names applied to different sections of this ocean ecosystem. While we lost a planet (Pluto), we gained an ocean! In 2000, the International Hydrographic Organization named this new ocean the Southern Ocean. Basically, it is the southern equivalent of the Arctic Ocean, except a little bit larger in sprawling space. So, there are 5 oceans.

Here they are in a listing of greatest to least in square miles:

Pacific (64,186,000)

Atlantic (33,420,000)

Indian (28,350,000)

Southern (7,848,300)

Arctic (5,106,000)

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What about blob(fish)?

The blobfish is the ugliest animal in the ocean” or at least that is the consensus on many blogs and websites. I am curious if you have another ‘ugly’ favorite. Please share below and in the meantime here are five fun facts about the fish that will never win a beauty contest.

blobfish

But, please remember beauty on the inside is what counts.

  • The blobfish lives off the coast of Tasmania and Australia.
  • The body of the blobfish is made up of mostly gelatin, not muscle.
  • The blobfish is slightly less dense than the water around it so it floats right above the seafloor.
  • Since the blobfish has no muscle it just eats whatever floats near him or her.
  • The blobfish may or not be related to Ziggy.

Image (c) wierdimals.wordpress.com

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Where can I meet other beachcombers and learn more about beachcombing?

At the International Beachcombing Conference from November 7-9, 2009 in Annapolis, MD. The conference brings together experienced and novice beachcombers to discuss what factors are affecting the beachcombing experience. The conference is held at the Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s LEED certified Phillip Merrill Environmental Center and is sponsored by The Society for Ocean Sciences, The Chesapeake Bay Foundation and The Consummate Beachcomber.

The website for the conference is constantly being updated so check back at http://www.beachcombingconference.com/Overview.html#Questions for all the latest information.

Do you have another great question? Check out www.beachchairscientist.com and let us know what you always ponder while digging your toes in the sand or e-mail beachchairscientist@gmail.com.

When did life begin in the ocean?

Actually, before there was life on land there was life in the ocean. Life in the ocean began about 3.1 to 3.4 billion years ago. Life on land began only 400 million years ago.

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How do you say ocean in … ?

Czech … oceánu

Dutch … ocean

Bulgarian … океан

Filipino … karagatan

Finnish … meressä

German … ozean

Hungarian … ocean

Indonesian … samudra

Italian … oceano

Latvian … okeāna

Lithuanian … vandenynas

Maltese … oċean

Polish … oceanu

Portuguese … oceano

Spanish … océano

Turkish … okyanus

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What am I?

Here are some clues:protozoa

Lives at the surface of the ocean.

It is only one cell.

It is an animal that eats, breathes and moves like any other animal.

The blue rays in the center hold algae.

You can find it at the American Museum of Natural History.

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Why do you hear the ocean echo from a shell?

The larger the seashell the louder the sound, right? It is the space inside the shell that creates the sound. Well, the space inside the seashell bouncing against the sounds of your surroundings.

For the most part people are experimenting with this seashell symphony at the beach where there is a lot of  space for sounds to resonate inside the seashell.

It would be the same type of sound when you put a glass up to your ear. It you put a glass up to your ear in the bathroom with the door shut you will hear very little. If you put the glass up to your ear outside, you will hear the “ocean”.

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Are the fried scallops at the take-out place really scallops?

These days – Absolutely! In past decades it was not uncommon to substitute succulent scallops with shark or the wings of a sting ray. The scallop industry has been thriving since 1970’s and this has not been the norm. How can you tell? Real scallops will break apart very easily when separated, also, the meat will be lengthwise.

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How did fiddler crabs get their name?

The male fiddler crabs have one claw that is much larger than the other. This extra large claw is shaped like a fiddle.fiddles 015

It is useful for two main reasons.

The first being that if waved in a certain manner it attracts some hot chicks, er, female fiddler crabs. The second is that it is a  useful tool for defense when other dudes like to create drama during mating season.

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Image (c) decksfiddles.com

Why are mussels always found on pilings?

Well, it is important to mention that not all mussels are found on pilings. Mussels attach themselves to any type of hard substrate in the intertidal regions, including pilings. On pilings the top most mussels indicate the high tide line.

To go off on a random tangent, here is a yummy mussel recipe: http://allrecipes.com/HowTo/Cooking-Mussels/Detail.aspx

Do you have another great question? Check out www.beachchairscientist.com and let us know what you always ponder while digging your toes in the sand!