aussie artist Lynette Wallworth’s new film, ‘Coral: Rekindling Venus’ premiered last night at the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, London. the film, both written and directed by Wallworth, explores the underwater world and its inhabitants: red sea dragons, crinoids, starfish, and coral, to name a few. coincidentally, the Transit of Venus (a rare cosmic phenomenon that largely inspired Wallworth’s film) took place the morning of the premiere. it was astronomical photographer David Malin who first told Wallworth about the Transit of Venus — a story which inspired Wallworth’s own film. according to Wallworth, the rare occasion of the transit of Venus is humbling, because it puts into perspective the transcendence of our universe.
Wallworth’s connection between astronomy and marine biology may seem a bit ambiguous outside the context of her film, but she would probably be quick to point out that coral, which she primarily focuses on in her film, depend upon the alignment of the Sun, Earth, and Moon in order to survive. if you think about it, this relates to Wallworth’s idea that organisms on Earth, as well as on other planets, are just sub-parts – fractions – of the greater universe. way to rekindle our long-faded memories of grade school science.
mind-blowing what exists just beyond our vision. does this little guy look tough?
these images are of a microscopic creature called a water bear, or tardigrade… which despite its fuzzy-sounding name is one of the toughest animals on the planet.
their appearance (eight chubby legs, round, bulgy body, and probe-like head) doesn’t at all suggest their weird resilience: they are virtually indestructible. they can withstand being boiled, frozen, squeezed under pressure, or desiccated. they can be completely dried out for years, then come back to life as if nothing happened. recently scientists dried out 3,000 of these tiny creatures and fired them into space to see if they could withstand cosmic rays, a near vacuum, and freezing cold temperatures. they survived, making them the first animals to survive exposure in space without protection.
talk about tough. these things are crazy.
(sources: BBCnature.com, dailymail.co.uk, wired.com)
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