zoology biology benno meyer rochow science blog animal water slide

Wet Feet Forever

Life on the surface of the water

Creating wobbly and shifting upside-down images of the real world, water surfaces can be beautiful in their own right, especially during a moonlit night. Some of my most beautiful photographs were of reflections from water surfaces. But they seem so bare of life (disregarding aquatic plants like duckweed, pond and water lilies and their inhabitants for the moment). In reality, however, there are actually numerous organisms that live, hunt and feed on this two-dimensional horizon dividing the wet and dry worlds. —>

jellyfish lighter cigarette fire

Jellyfish Lights Cigarette

Using jellyfish as a lighter

I haven’t smoked for decades and have no intention to ever smoke again, but as a young student I was silly enough to think it was “cool” to work with a cigarette between one’s teeth.

And that’s what happened in South African waters on that memorable day of May 9th, 1967, when I used a jellyfish to light my cigarette. I am confident that in the whole world I am the only person who has ever used a jellyfish to make fire (and it had nothing at all to do with the fact that jellyfish can give you a nasty ‘burn’ when their tentacles brush against you). Continue reading

pothole biology april jamaica

Pothole Biology

A study of the toughest survivers

When I was living in Jamaica and had a series of science articles similar to this blog in the country’s largest newspaper, “The Gleaner”, I once planned to write a column for April 1st : I intended to explain how excellent the facilities for pothole researchers were in Jamaica. However, as I found out during stays in numerous other countries, it is not just the nation of reggae, Bob Marley, Blue Mountain coffee and Usain Bolt that offers opportunities for pothole research. Continue reading