How The Oceans Have Become Increasingly More Hostile To Life As A Result Of Climate Change And Overfishing

Source: National Geographic/Natasha Daly

Photo: Jakob Owens/Unsplash

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Traditionally, the ocean wasn’t all that hostile of a place to live. The species that make the ocean their home have evolved over millennia to thrive in its depths.

What seems mind-boggling to us—a fish’s ability to live five miles under the sea, for instance—is just life for other animals. “That environment’s not hostile to them—its like us being in our living rooms,” says Matthew Savoca, a postdoctoral researcher at Stanford University’s Hopkins Marine Station, in Monterey.

Swimming around with up to six male fish permanently fused to her body, for example, is just a normal part of life for a female anglerfish. A male digs his teeth into a female and every one of his organs, except his testes, withers away until he’s just a parasite hanging off her body. Nothing out of the ordinary—it’s just part of deep-sea living for an anglerfish.

Although oceans do change over time, such as when Earth has cycled in and out of ice ages, those changes happen gradually, and species evolve to cope.

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Photo: Jakob Owens/Unsplash

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