Colorful Coral Reef Pulses with Life

Human evolution and the pursuit of knowledge – two things that drive the human race to explore, discover, and branch out, either here on Earth or deep into the skies. It is that unquenchable thirst to know, explain, identify, and catalog every detail in a research notebook that drives biological scientists to unearth amazing creatures on land, like the star-nosed mole or Rabb’s tree frog. They discover creatures long dead before humans ever set foot on the dusty earth, and predict future evolutions well before they even occur.

Colorful Coral Reef

Imagine a world without animals or plant life – stark, barren, and, most importantly, completely incapable of supporting human life.

As time goes on, we discover more and more acutely just how precious and important each individual creature is to the health of the Earth itself. Nowhere is this more important than within our oceans, the majority of which remains untouched and unexplored.

An incredible video of coral pulsating and undulating under the sea showcases just a few of the species humans don’t see on a regular basis. Stunningly beautiful and deeply complex, these sea creatures live out their entire lives deep under the water, where their beauty and amazing colors are witnessed only by the creatures that call the sea home.

Why So Stunning?

Filmed by Barcelona photographer Antonio Rodriguez Canto, who also admits to post-processing and tweaking the colors just a bit, this rich and life-filled video has quickly become a viral sensation, but, despite the smooth, effortless transitions, what you’re seeing is really not a video at all – it’s a series of macro photographs painstakingly stitched together. Canto wove together some 25,000 different photographs to create something impactful, incredible, and moving.

Because the human eye doesn’t process information in the same way, instead using a continuous flow of information to the brain, we’re unable to detect the slight choppiness between frames. Thankfully, the frame rate is high enough that your brain can compensate and interpret the information as movement. Through this process, you can suspend belief and see the continuation of frames as real, live movement, if just for a moment.

The Creatures

Canto’s video features a cacophony of creatures, from the big and mighty giant clam at the end to the far more demure brain coral featured throughout. Suggesting that the video contains “coral” is much too broad; after all, scientists estimate there to be as many as 2 million or more known species in existence today. Some of the specific species found in Canto’s video include:

  • Fungia – a plate or disc coral technically, but that’s also technically a mushroom
  • Trachyphyllia – also known as brain or folding brain coral
  • Heteropsammia – a coral type that enjoys symbiosis with the commensal sipunculid worm
  • Acanthophyllia – better known as meat coral for its meaty surface appearance
  • Physogyra – called pearl bubble coral for its mother-of-pearl iridescence
  • Zoanthus – a colony polyp with brilliantly-shaded flower-like blossoms

It’s amazing to think that each of these creatures exists in a delicate balance within reefs all across the world. Lose one, and you risk losing them all. Canto’s video is a remarkable representation of the world below us. It’s also a work of art in its own right, and a vibrant source of behavioral information for researchers tapping away at lab notebooks all across the globe.

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Coral Reef Pulses

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