Batfish, Japan

Photograph by Brian Skerry, National Geographic

Batfish, Japan, 2008

Far from the frenetic activity of mainland Japan, marine life surrounding the Ogasawara Islands moves to its own rhythm. The undersea terrain here morphs from boulder-strewn shallows to coral reefs, each with its own cast of characters. In these waters the ocean has also transformed shipwrecks from bygone wars into lush gardens of life, and oceanic caves hide species not yet described by science. The gift that warm water provides is the gift of time, being able to spend prolonged periods in the water so that we can begin to make sense of all that we see. As we move slowly through these places, patterns begin to emerge and behaviors are revealed. In time, order is created from chaos.

(From the National Geographic book Ocean Soul by Brian Skerry)

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