Scuba Diver Ocean Planet Issue 4/2015, OP No. 4
One Ocean, One Life
FROM THE EDITOR
We're getting back to the schools with this issue, discovering the places where our fishy friends gather in jaw-dropping numbers, where the seas are swarming with scales, where the ocean's inhabitants create choreographed congregations, and dizzying droves put on dazzling displays.
It seems obvious now, but when I first processed this next bit of information the implications of it blew my mind: When fish create those rippling, shifting schools, each fish is actually behaving in entirely its own interest - according to the research, each one is supposedly entirely unaware of the bigger picture: They apparently have no idea at all of the patterns they are creating.
Yes, those seemingly choreographed displays are what they call "emergent properties" of individuals selfishly following basic rules for their own individual survival. And we see evidence of this same principle everywhere.
This is synchrony, a fundamental force that creates simultaneous action. And it's one of the most pervasive drivers in all of Nature.
So why is this fact so revelatory? Well it seems to imply that there is an underlying order, and that even when the world can seem too complex and chaotic to understand, perhaps that's only because we are on the inside of a great "school" looking out.
But that's enough philosophy for one issue; this one's about schools, not school, after all...
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HOPE SPRINGS IN THE SEA OF CORTEZ
By Christian Vizl
An enforced no take zone in Mexico's Cabo Pulmo has let the fish life bounce back with a vengeance
WATERS OF ABUNDANCE
By Rui Guerra
The islands of the Azores are rare havens for fish life in the middle of the Atlantic, where, in the crystal clear water, sensational sightings await.
EYES WIDE UP
By Gil Woodley/ Scubazoo
The stunning aggregrations off Malaysian Borneo's Sabah will have the eyes of even of most die-hard critter hunter glued to the blue
AUSTRALASIA + OCEANIA
By Richard Barnden
Witness pivotal moments in the procreation of life in the seas - Palau's well-documented spawning events
THE GREATEST SHOAL ON EARTH
By Sophia Van Coller
The world's most iconic schooling event, South Africa's sardine run, is the schooling phenomenon of the year, attracting predators from above and below in a breath-taking show of Nature at her most dramatic