Saltar al contenido

Daughters of the moon

Estrellas de mar

Ir a la versión en español



There is a legend from Benin that, in ancient times, the Sun and the Moon were good friends and had many children. One day, they decided to throw their children into the sea so that they could populate the Earth. Thus, the children of the Sun turned into fish, and the children of the Moon turned into starfish.

Today, for many people, a starfish is a representative symbol of marine life, as these animals are never found in freshwater or on solid ground.

At first glance, one might say that a solitary animal that has very little contact with its own kind, without ears or eyes, and moves along the seafloor with small feet that measure only a couple of millimeters, couldn’t get very far. However, from the Poles to the Caribbean, in sandy or rocky bottoms, on volcanic islands or coral reefs, starfish occupy everything.

It is a strange animal that extends its stomach outside of its body when feeding, capable of regenerating a severed arm or even splitting itself into two independent beings. It possesses several hundred tube feet that not only allow it to move along the seabed but also to firmly attach itself to rocks in a flawless climb. A creature with almost no natural enemies except for other starfish, without predators or parasites. It can withstand an oil spill or go for long periods without feeding. Undoubtedly, a peculiar animal.

But perhaps the strangest thing is that even humans, who consume everything, have been unable to find a way to make use of starfish. For years, they have even tried to turn them into balanced food for birds with no success. However, perhaps precisely because they are a representative symbol of marine life, some people take starfish out of the water and let them die under the sun to exhibit them, dry and faded, in a display case where they can hardly represent the shadow of what was once a magnificent creature and the vast ignorance of the homeowner.

Starfish only belong to the ocean, and they should remain in it until the end of time. As long as the Moon illuminates them and poets mistake them for fallen stars.

“You cannot defend what you do not love, and you cannot love what you do not know.”