Roman and Mediaeval History, Illlustrated Travel Journals, Mediaeval Literature, Geology


5.10.15
  Sub-Marinean Monsters - The Ozeaneum in Stralsund: The North Sea

The tour of the Ozeaneum - follow the little footprints on the floor - will now take us to the North Sea in this second post about the tank displays of the Oceanographic Museum in Stralsund.

Some fish like herring or haddock can be found in both seas, but others have developed special subspecies who can deal with the higher salinity of 3,5%.

Compass jellyfish

This jellyfish is a bit more alien looking. Compass jellyfish also have toxic nematocysts at the end of their tentacles whose discharge can lead to skin irritation. The species can be found in the deeper water off the British and Dutch coasts, but storms sometimes bring them up and onto the shore.

Great Spider Crab

Great spider crabs (Hyas araneus) are indigenous to the North Sea and Atlantic. They live in deeper water (down to at least 50 metres). They are hunters who hide under stones or other places and who, like their Baltic Sea relatives, use algae to cover their shields, until something edible, like a starfish, comes along.

Tank 'Tidal Bassin', weever

This guy may look harmless if a bit grumpy, but it's actually one of the nastier critters hiding in the tidal sands. The weever has a sting on its back that ejects poison into the foot of any hapeless tourist who happens to step on it. The pain and discomfort may be worse than a vasp sting and can lead to an allergic shock.

Coral reef in the Channel, with boar fish

Another of those beautiful coral reefs, this time from the North Sea. The violet ones are called Anthothelia, a deep sea coral that can deal well with cold, dark water. Those red darlings swimming among the corals are boar fish, almost too colourful for the environment - it's what you would expect in the Pacific. But boar fish turn black when they swim into deeper water.

A wreck with new coral and sea urchin colonies

I liked this one just because it looks so pretty. A simulated wreck starting to attract inhabitants of all sorts.

Tank 'Helgoland', catsharks

Those two guys were hanging out in the tunnel-shaped Helgoland tank. The dark colour is due to the dim light; catsharks (also called dogfish) are a bit lighter of colour, with dark spots. But I like the blue version. :-)

Tank 'Scottish Underwater Cave', with a John Dory

This one is not a nice fish to meet if you're a herring. It will suck you right in, literally. John Dorys can evert their mouth very wide and snatch an entire herring. Slurrp. But humans are safe.

Tank 'Open Atlantic', a shoaling of mackerels, with some cod

The last tank is the largest. The 'Open Atlantic' contains 2.6 million litres of water. Too bad I could not find out what the glass plane of that one weighs - it has a size of 50 square metres and is 30 cm thick. It also was the most difficult to photograph because the fish kept either moving too fast, or hiding in the background of the big bassin.

Tank 'Open Atlantic', stingray

Now try to escape the stingray and resurface back in the museum after the trip through the Baltic and North Sea. You can visit a guy from the other hemisphere on the museum roof: one of the ten Humboldt penguins living there (the other ones were hiding in their stone caves).

A curious Humboldt penguin

I hope you liked the little tour through an unknown and alien world. A hot tea or coffee may be in order now.

I could have spent more time in the museum if my itinerary had allowed it, waiting for the perfect shot of some cool fishes.
 
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The Lost Fort is a blog based on my travels in Germany, the UK and other places, with essays on Roman and Mediaeval history illustrated with lots of photos of old castles, cathedrals, Roman remains, and beautiful landscapes. You may also find the odd essay about geology or Mediaeval literature.

All texts (except comments by guests) and photos (if no other copyright is noted) on this blog are copyright of Gabriele Campbell.

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Location: Germany

I'm a blogger from Germany with a MA in Literature and History which doesn't pay my bills, so I use it to research blogposts instead. I'm interested in everything Roman and Mediaeval, avid reader and sometimes writer, opera enthusiast, traveller with a liking for foreign languages and odd rocks, photographer, and tea aficionado. And an old-fashioned blogger who hasn't yet gotten an Instagram account. :-)


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