Under the Sea

by Marina M.

I don’t like to date myself but, in this case, it’s necessary. I was in 8th grade and taking an oceanography class when The Little Mermaid came out. That was almost thirty years ago. The combination of those two events led me to a life-long interest of marine life and marine biology. Obviously, I didn’t pursue it as a career but I still seek out books and documentaries that highlight what lies beneath.

First We Set the Mood

Since the very first episode of Planet Earth I have been in awe of and enamored by the cinematographic dive into the hidden worlds of nature by the BBC. So it’s no surprise that I am a big fan of their water themed series, Blue Planet. With the pitch perfect narration by the legendary David Attenborough, I can sit entranced watching the swirling mackerel trying to escape the round up by rays, dolphins, and sharks. Or the seals trying to escape the Great White shark. Or sharks feeding on a whale carcass at the bottom of the ocean. Huh. Sharks are pretty hungry.


Mindless Eating Machine?

Speaking of sharks, I inexplicably came across another book that, by the title, sounded absolutely bonkers! So, of course, I dove right in. Ha! Pun totally intended. In Shark Drunk: The Art of Catching a Large Shark from a Tiny Rubber Dinghy in a Big Ocean, two Norwegian dudes decide that trying to catch a Greenland shark in a small boat in the waters off Norway is a good idea. Surprisingly enough, the title is very misleading. Very little of what was written is about the hunt for the Greenland shark. There’s a lot about the fishing and whaling practices of the area, the geography and geology of the shore and underwater, plus other investigations of the natural life under the water surrounding Norway.


Considering the visual pleasure I get from watching Blue Planet and its sequel, it’s no wonder that I’m also a fan of the coffee table books of underwater photography. There’s the books that are associated with Blue Planet and March of the Penguins. And, another nature powerhouse, National Geographic, has a wonderful array of books heavy on underwater photography for all ages. Check out some of my other favorites, plus a few suggestions if you also enjoyed The Soul of an Octopus.

What are your underwater favorites?


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2 responses to “Under the Sea”

  1. Jane Crawford says:

    I enjoyed all of Bernd Heinrich’s books (on eAudio via Libby!), especially Winter World and Mind of the Raven. I do love Sy Montgomery’s books too, especially Soul of the Octopus. Going to Seattle Aquarium this month with Snohomish County Beach Watchers and hope to visit with their Giant Pacific Octopus.

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