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Nautical Trivia

April 19, 2017

1. Did you know that seas are smaller than oceans? A sea can be part of one of the four oceans (Atlantic, Pacific, Indian and Arctic). The Caribbean Sea of North America for instance, is in the Atlantic. Other seas such as the Caspian Sea in Asia are surrounded by land.


2. Did you know that the ink of an octopus is its smoke screen? When threatened, an octopus discharges a thick blackish or brownish inky fluid which is stored in its body. The ejected ink doesn’t dissolve quickly. It floats in the water in a cloud shaped somewhat like an octopus.The idea is to confuse its enemies and cover its escape.


3. Did you know the difference between a dolphin and a porpoise is their facial structure and body size? Both are related to whales, but smaller. Dolphins can grow to 12 feet in length and have a beak.  Porpoises are beakless and are usually between three and six feet long.


4. Did you know that male humpback whales sing? It is their form of communication and is much stronger than the human voice. Underwater, whales send messages heard several miles away. Whales make sounds with a system of tubes and air sacs around their blowholes.  Squeaks and whistles and strange moaning are what whale songs sound like to humans.   

5. Did you know flying fish are small fish; the largest is about of foot and a half. When fearful they fly by propelling themselves into the air with their tails and glide.  If bigger fish are chasing them, they flap their tails, pick up speed and leap out of the water. Then they spread their front fins and sail on the breeze, up to 20 miles per hour.


6. Did you know that salmon and other fish swim upstream to return to where they were born when  ready to breed?   That can be a long way, sometimes thousands of miles.  Salmon are born in rivers and streams and then travel to sea to live as adults. They swim against the current and even jump over waterfalls trying to find the exact spot where they were born.


7. Did you know that sponges are animals that live on the bottom of the ocean and never move? Some have beautiful shapes and fantastic colors. Sponges have skeleton cells that form chambers, and whip-like threads called flagella to capture tiny plants and animals for food.


8. Did you know that icebergs can be bigger than some countries? In 1956, an iceberg was sighted that was 208 miles long and 60 miles wide. That’s about the size of Belgium. Only a small part of this ice monster was seen above water.  Most icebergs hide nine-tenths of their size under the surface.

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