Cryptozoology - C vs E - Dinosaurs
The Ocean: A World Of Mystery
By Jordan P. Niednagel
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Covering 71 percent of the earth's entire surface, the ocean spreads out like a colossal, incomprehensible blanket. It is a blanket that man can only dream of unraveling, and a place that, since time began, has lay shrouded in a cloud of mystery, intrigue, discovery, and fascination. Because more is known about the surface of the moon than the planet's oceans, it is becoming of us to admit that outer space is truly not the final frontier. What lies below . . . that is the final frontier.

Using the latest sonar techniques to measure depth, it would take an astounding 125 years to map the ocean floor. As of today, only a fraction of such is known about. What lives there, likewise, is equally unknown. The land beneath the sea is far grander than that above, with ranges of mountains that are longer and wider than any mountain ranges on land. There are longer, deeper valleys too. In the Pacific Ocean alone there lies valleys so deep that Mount Everest, the highest mountain on land, would easily fit with more than a mile of water above to spare. Truly, it is a world unimaginable, a place we know so little about.


Cryptozoology

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Dinosaurs


So how can man, in his pomp, claim that there are no unknown species left to be found? Or, if he accepts this, that there are no large unknown species left to be found? Who would have thought, until November of 1976, that the acclaimed Megamouth shark would avoid all human detection? Growing to lengths of over twenty feet, these hideous-looking, elusive creatures are, to this day, a mystery to ichthyologists (those who study fish). To the date of this article, only 15 specimens have been captured (24 as of Nov., 2004), and they are considered to be the rarest of all sharks. We know that they are nocturnal, and are filter-feeders, eating zooplankton and phytoplankton. They have short but broadly rounded snouts and a very large head. The huge mouth with blubbery lips extends behind the eyes and is lined with more than 100 rows of small hooked teeth.[1] A fascinating animal no doubt, and one from which the scientific community can learn a lesson from.

The question is: "Why?" And "How?" How do animals, even in this great age of technology, elude our detection? As stated before, we do not have the technology (or are not employing it) to thoroughly search out the ocean depths. Man is still discovering unknown species on land, let alone in water.

We turn our attention now to an even more elusive ocean dweller . . . the Giant Squid.

Architeuthis clarkei, otherwise known as the Giant Squid. These carnivorous behemoths are torpedo in shape, endowed with a beak-like mouth strong enough to snap steel cable. They are equipped with five pairs of lengthy arms, with one pair being thinner than the others and exceeding them in length. Surprising to many, these descriptions have frequently been displayed in historical art and literature. Pottery from ancient Greece depicts giant squid attacking fishing boats; Japanese woodcuts show the fearsome creatures battling whales. Aristotle and Pliny both wrote of huge squid. In Norway, the beast called the Kraken seemed to combine characteristics of the giant squid with those of the octopus.

As to the maximum size of these creatures, it is a debatable issue. The largest squid to be measured was studied on November 2, 1878. The men who discovered the stranded squid found that, measured from the tip of the head to the bottom of the beak, it came to nearly 20 feet in length. The longest of the arms was 35 feet long. That makes for a creature 55 feet long.[2]

Many dismiss the notion of a squid attacking a boat, but that very occurrence was documented in the 1930's. In fact, it was the Brunswick, an auxiliary tanker in the Royal Norwegian Navy, that was attacked. The giant squid paced the ship, then turned and aggressively struck it. Three times this happened, until the squid, who could not get a good grip on the metal hull, slipped and fell into the propellers. No damage was done to the Brunswick, as its immense size dwarfed the squid.[3] It was quite an amazing occurrence, and it went to show that these creatures are certainly capable of attacking sailing vessels. Subsequently, the Kraken of lore becomes an eerie reality.


Ocean Facts: [4]

* At the deepest point in the ocean, the Marianas Trench, the pressure is more than 8 tons per square inch, or the equivalent of one person trying to support 50 jumbo jets.

* Ninety percent of all volcanic activity occurs in the oceans. In 1993, scientists located the largest known concentration of active volcanoes on the sea floor in the South Pacific. This area, the size of New York state, hosts 1,133 volcanic cones and sea mounts. Two or three could erupt at any moment.

* If mined, all the gold suspended in the world's seawater would give each person on earth 9 pounds.

* If the ocean's total salt content were dried, it would cover the continents to a depth of 5 feet.

* At 39 degrees Fahrenheit, the temperature of almost all of the deep ocean is only a few degrees above freezing.

80% of all life on earth is found under the ocean surface, and it contains some 95% of habitat space on the planet. At this time, man has identified over 270,000 ocean species, and this number grows daily. The largest marine animal that we know of is the blue whale, while the smallest are microscopic plankton, which form the basis of the ocean food web on which all higher animals depend.


From Where We Came?

Past U.S. presidents have had a fascination with the ocean, and two of them in particular. At a dinner for the America's Cup yacht crews in Newport, USA, put on by the Australian Ambassador on September 14, 1962, President John F. Kennedy said:

"I really don't know why it is that all of us are so committed to the sea, except I think it's because in addition to the fact that the sea changes, and the light changes, and ships change, it's because we all came from the sea. And it is an interesting biological fact that all of us have, in our veins, the exact same percentage of salt in our blood that exists in the ocean, and therefore, we have salt in our blood, in our sweat, in our tears. We are tied to the ocean. And when we go back to the sea - whether it is to sail or to watch it - we are going back from whence we came." [5]

In his well-known book, former Vice President Al Gore shared similar thoughts.

"So when environmentalists assert that we are, after all, part of the earth, it is no mere rhetorical flourish. Our blood even contains roughly the same percentage of salt as the ocean, where the first life forms evolved. They eventually brought onto the land a self-contained store of the sea water to which we are still connected chemically and biologically." [6]

Regardless of whether you are an evolutionist or creationist, is what they espouse true? Absolutely not.


Table: The mineral contents of human blood plasma or serum and seawater (mg per liter).[7]

Even if the percentages were similar, it would still not carry much weight as logical proof of evolution. Regardless, the concentrations of various salts in the seawater and blood are in fact all quite different.


History's Mysteries

A separate article is needed (and will be provided) to cover the numerous accounts of strange sea creatures spotted by reputable people. Let us, however, briefly touch upon two notable ones.[8]

On December 7, 1905, naturalists E. G. B. Meade-Waldo and Michael J. Nicoll, fellows of the London Zoological Society, were cruising off Parahiba, Brazil, aboard the Earl of Crawford's yacht Valhalla when Meade-Waldo noticed a large, six-foot-long "fin or frill" in the water about a hundred yards from the boat. Looking more closely, he also saw a large body beneath the surface. Just as he got out his binoculars, the scientist reported, a huge head and neck rose up out of the water. The visible portion of the neck alone was seven to eight feet long and as thick as "a slight man's body"; the head was about the same thickness and resembled a turtle's, as did the eye. Both head and neck were dark brown on top, whitish underneath. Nicoll's account of the beast was similar to Meade-Waldo's, with one important addition: His general impression was of a mammal, not a reptile, although he admitted that he could not be absolutely certain.

On August 6, HMS Daedalus was cutting through the South Atlantic waters near the Cape of Good Hope, at the southern tip of Africa, when a midshipman spotted something advancing rapidly toward the vessel. He immediately informed the ship's officers, and a total of seven men, including Captain Peter M'Quhae, got a good view of what they all described as a gigantic sea serpent. The visible portion of the creature alone measured more then sixty feet in length, they reported, but it appeared to be only about fifteen inches in diameter. Its color was dark brown, with yellowish white at the throat, and it had some sort of mane, like a bunch of seaweed, on its back. Strange enough, though moving at twelve to fifteen miles per hour, it exhibited neither vertical nor horizontal undulation - nor any other visible means of propulsion. "Apparently on some determined purpose," it held its serpent-like head a constant four feet above the surface and never deviated from its course.


Final Thoughts

After the March, 2002 discovery of perhaps the largest giant octopus ever seen, renowned marine biologist Steve O'Shea stated, "The frightening thing is that we are getting an animal like this newly reported in New Zealand waters today ... so new and large, you've got to sit down and ask yourself 'What is it we know about the deep sea environment?'." [9]

His statement rings true, and calls to all those who doubt in the unknown, "If large animals such as the giant squid and megamouth shark have eluded man's detection, is it possible that there are actual sea serpents, even marine reptiles (such as the plesiosaur), still alive today?" Is that so far from reality? As I have endeavored to share, it is more than possible, and quite probable. Some may agree . . . many may disagree with my thoughts. I have done my best to convey reality. I can only hope to do more, and should fear of doing any less.



References:

1. Florida Museum of Natural History Ichthyology Department, Megamouth, <http://www.flmnh.ufl.edu/fish/Sharks/Megamouth/mega.htm>.
2. Guinness World Records Experience, <http://www.guinnessattractions.com/worldrecords.asp?bhcp=1.
3. MarineBio.org, Giant Squid - Architeuthis dux, <http://marinebio.org/species.asp?id=156>.
4. Ocean 98 Facts & Figures, <http://www.ocean98.org/fact.htm>.
5. Public Papers of the Presidents: p. 684, 1962.
6. Gore, A., Earth in the Balance: Ecology and the Human Spirit, Houghton Mifflin Company, New York, NY, USA, pp. 99–100, 1992.
7. AnswersInGenesis.org, Presidents and evolution, <http://www.answersingenesis.org/creation/v22/i4/presidents.asp>, September, 2000.87.
8. Mysterious Creatures, Time-Life Books, Alexandria, Virginia, pp. 31-33.
9. The Authority Explorer, Giant Octopus Caught Off New Zealand, <http://www.trueauthority.com/explorer/explorer_april2002.htm>, April, 2002.



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