Love comes in many shades… Also in the Oceans. In the Ocean You can find monogamous species (species that stays together though out their entire lives), species that die from exhaustion after finding their mate, and species that sing or travel thousands of miles, - searching for love, - just to mention a few exampels !
In this Editorial we will plunge into the complex world of romance, and discover some of the love varieties and underwater relationships found in the big blue.
“Lets melt together and our hearts shall become one !”
Well, - this sounds romantic, - if it was left said and did not become a reality… Though this is in fact what happens for some deep sea anglerfish species !
The deep sea anglerfish male is fairly smaller than the female, and is incapable of crating light, - unlike the female. The most important part of his life is to search for a mate!
The female he searches for, - is much larger than the male and lights up the harsh, dark and cold environment.
When the male has found a female, - he gives her the greatest kiss… A populistic term, for biting and clinging himself onto her, - wherever there is space. And by mentioning space, - the male suiter is actually doomed to share his female, often with several other males. Because something fairly interesting happens when the male has kissed, - or bitten the female… He actually “melts” together with the female. This might sound strange, - since it is rather special.
What happens is this :
When the male has bitten onto the female with his small and sharp teeth, - he actually becomes a sort of parasitical partner, since the female completely cares for him. She gives him food, new blood, - he even loses his eyes, - since there is no longer need for these (he has chosen his mate and will stick with her till the end of their lives.). Though in return he delivers something vital for the deep sea anglerfish´s species survival - a lifelong supply of sperm !
The male constantly makes sure that the female will lay fertile eggs during her entire life.
But he is competing with the other suitors - up to six other males !
“Feeling blue when loves does not come around.”
52hertz - the lonely whale singing songs, no one hears, - or no female finds attractive…
Calling at a frequency of 52 hertz, - the characteristic sound may not seem appealing to female whales.
Normally whales call at frequencies of 15-20 hertz, - so calling at 52 hertz creates a very high pitch voice…
The first time 52 hertz was detected by humans was in the 1980s. Since then, 52hertz has been heard frequently ever since.
It is said that woman like men that somehow withholds something mystical… This might not be the case for whales since 52 hertz is somewhat mysterious… No one has ever seen the whale, - not even 52 hertz specie is known !
But imagine dating someone with a voice that sounded like someone swallowed a helium balloon… That might not be a dream scenario. And it is believed that female whales simply finds 52 hertz high pitch voice unattractive. Another theory is that it is impossible for them to hear him calling…
So this unknown whale, - sadly swims the giant oceans alone, - calling and singing for someone to join him in the big blue… but no one has answered him yet. A pretty sad love story.
“Once was enough for me… At least, I gave it my all…”
For some animals, - “love” is a short affair. This is the case for most squids !
Imagine dying after a one night stand… that is (almost) what happens for squids. Squids normally do not grow to become that old, - around 3 years for an average small squid specie. (Though big squids can knowably live around 15 years and presumably longer !) When fully matured, - they will search for a mate. Once a male and a female squid has found one another they will mate… Then, - shortly after the act, - the male squid actually dies - with exceptions ! Some males have apparently discovered, that if they shortly after the act, - bite off their “penis-arm” (when maturing, - one of the males arms looses its suction cups and undergoes a transformation - into a penis arm) they will actually be able to stay alive and die of age or being eaten by a predator ! Quite impressive. The females naturally stays alive for a bit longer, - long enough to lay the eggs, - up to 100.000 eggs ! Then, after delivering the next generation of squids, - the female dies too.
“Sometimes marriage feels like imprisonment.”
Some marine animals stays together for life (monogamous animals) - but it might not always feel like a choice… The specie called Monomamous Shrimps have a quite intriguing love story.
They will thereafter spend their days cleaning the sponge, and eat the food that might enter the tiny holes in the mesh of the sponge. These small holes are also the only escape route for the shrimps couples offspring. When the shrimp couple reproduce, the young shrimps are soon sent away from home, in order for them to be able to exit the venus flower basket-prison… When the young shrimps have left “home” - the story will repeat itself… The young shrimps will go out and search for a soulmate, - and then, find themselves a lovely glass-sponge-prison to settle into.
“Love me forever and always…”
For other animals, - love is everlasting. The French Angelfish sets a great example of eternal love.
French Angelfish are also Monogamous animals, - but unlike the Monomamous shrimps, - the french angelfish are not trapped together in a glass sponge ! The french angelfish stay together for a lifetime by choice. In fact, it has been observed, that if the french anglefish for some reason becomes separated, - they will circle around one another as a greeting ritual once reunited ! Together the french anglefish couples work together defending territory and creates the next generation of angelfish by spending about 24 hours, helping one another to clean the surface… Then later, - like a dance, the couple will swim up towards the surface, - and the female will release eggs, - and the male will release sperm. The french anglefish are some of the only known marine animals to stay together their entire lives. They set a great example of how underwater relationships too can last an entire lifetime !
So just like human romance can be quite complex and divers, - the undersea world also withholds many different love varieties !
By Blue Reporter, Naja Bertolt Jensen