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The magical balance

Tiburón ballena (Rhincodon typus)

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There is no living being on this immense and majestic planet quite like the sea. Perhaps that’s why it can hold so many diverse forms of life. Animals that resemble plants, plants that resemble animals, and other creatures that mimic stones. Living beings only visible under a microscope, while others are as large as an entire laboratory. Docile and aggressive, wild and peaceful, they all seem to coexist in a magical balance beneath the water’s surface.

The largest fish ever recorded is the whale shark, measuring 18 meters, captured in Thailand in 1919. But a few miles away, in the South Pacific, we find the other end of the scale represented by Schindleira’s praematurus, a fish measuring a mere 12 millimeters.

Marine mammals are no exception to these differences; in fact, they make them even more noticeable. The largest recorded blue whale was discovered in the Shetland Islands in 1926, measuring 33.27 meters in length and weighing 190,000 kilograms. On the other hand, the Franciscana or La Plata dolphin rarely exceeds 1.6 meters in length and weighs around 40 kilograms. The weight of a blue whale is equivalent to 4,750 Franciscanas.

But it’s not just the sizes that differ among the inhabitants of the sea; every aspect of their lives does too. From feeding to reproduction, to attack and defense strategies. While the sailfish can reach a maximum speed of 68.18 miles per hour, the tiny seahorse can only manage speeds of 0.01 miles per hour. A seahorse would have to march without stopping for 284 days to cover the same distance that a sailfish can cover in just one hour.

It is precisely this great diversity that makes the sea magical and astonishing, magnificent and fragile. The sea moves through our lives, eliciting sighs and fears. Too vast to encompass, too deep to fully know, too complex to comprehend. The oldest being on the planet, the keeper of memory and mystery, marks our time with the rhythm of its waves and writes our destiny with each tide.

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