Blue, the colour of the ocean, and ocean, home to millions of species, some known and many unknown. A whole new world lies beneath the deep blue waters, ‘The Underwater World’. The ocean holds together 228,450 known species and as many as 2 million more unknown species.
Despite having been on the planet for so many years, we have barely explored even 10% of the Earth’s waters. Of what we have explored, ocean waters have only surprised us. For instance, Blue whales are the largest animals to have ever lived on our planet, Jellyfish have been around for more than 650 years, and oysters can change their gender! Apart from holding and safeguarding these fascinating creatures, the ocean also contributes to our survival by producing nearly 70% of the oxygen we breathe. And haven’t we all enjoyed making our share of sandcastles at the beach or making a collection out of the seashells? The beaches around the world have always added to our fun and have become a place of vacation with friends and family.
In India, a few of the best places to explore the aquatic world and also have a fun-filled vacation are Andaman and Nicobar Islands. They are a very popular tourist attraction around the world, be it for the heritage or the nature that they have still kept beautifully intact or even scuba diving. Visiting such destinations brings one closer to nature as well as to ourselves. Beaches are just a prelude to the real beauty that lies farther deep in the ocean.
The Quiet Depth
Submerged and lying still in the depths of the water, the world seems to be safe, sound and unaffected, but is it? It may seem so but the pollution created by us has found its way into the ocean, diluting the forces of nature. The deterioration of the aquatic world is just another reaction to the increased pollution levels across the countries. We are running out of options and seemingly left with only one resort, to take a chance and learn more about nature because only knowing more will enable us to do more.
We happened to interview Chetana Purushotam, a Marine Biologist by profession, working with DIVEIndia. At DIVEIndia, headquartered at the Andaman Islands, Chetana is the head of marine education and conservation. She holds a Master’s degree in ecology and wildlife biology. She has studied Draco lizards and amphibians, as well as marine life.
We had a chat with Chetana for our Hello Educator Podcast, during which she shared her story of how she immediately fell in love with marine life during her visit to the Andaman Islands for a field course on marine ecology, and how she wished to have done that sooner. This impromptu experience persuaded her to take marine biology as a career.
In 2019, Chetana attended the Nature In-focus Festival. She spoke on ‘How do we reconnect people with our ocean’, and how education plays a huge role in achieving this goal. In relation to that, she is also working on nature’s education project Spider and the Sea. It is a new initiative taken up by her and a fellow friend, with the aim of educating people through photography. Further into the episode, she goes on to elaborate on her work life, marine biology, opportunities at DIVEIndia, and opportunities to study marine biology in India.
A few questions that you may find discussed during the episode: What is marine biology? What does a marine biologist do? What is DIVEIndia?
For all those who love to dwell in water, be around animals and intend to explore the unknown, Marine Biologist is a great career opportunity, and this episode gives you a glimpse into it. Listen to the full conversation on
- 10 Unbelievable Facts About the Ocean(2020, April 8), THE REAL WORLD
- Sea Science: 7 bizarre facts about the ocean(2016, June 8), Live science