Exploring a Ship Underwater
Greetings from Haryana, India!
Diving in a shipwreck is scary.
As I descend, the hull peers of the darkness, covered in bizarre marine growth. The anchor and other broken-off parts are slowly coming into view. Schools of fish swarm overhead, and our group of divers hover over the wreck.
Shipwrecks are typically associated with the loss of life. But within a few years, life returns to it in the form of marine organisms. Soon, the vessel is covered with corals, sponges, and hydroids and is thus called an “Artificial Wreck”.
The problem with many of these shipwrecks is that they are not convenient to dive by either being in deep water or by harbouring hazardous material (ships sunk in war still contain live ammunition). For that reason, people have been intentionally sinking ships with the goal of making them dive sites. These ships are decommissioned and are cleared for anything that is harmful to divers.
I wondered how much time under the ocean was required to transform a ship into a reef. Luckily, Jonathan Bird, host of the dive show BlueWorldTV (One of my absolute favourites), had the same question. He set out diving around the world in search of an answer.
He found that 25 years is a good time for a ship to completely embrace its new role as a home for fish and coral. By this time, a good amount of coral would have accumulated to host a healthy fish populace. So think about the reefs on ships from the World Wars!
Not all these ships are conducive to diving. Many are in deep water, beyond the depths of conventional scuba diving. Moreover, sunken warships may still hold live ammunition (yes, even after all these years).
There is something poetic about warships turning into havens for life. Thousands of lifeforms live there amongst the sunken cannons and ammunition. These structures now fulfil a purpose that far surpasses that for which they were made.
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This Week’s Links
The Golden temple is the world’s icon for Sikhism. Devotees from all over the globe flock to Amritsar to bathe in its holy waters. The area is steeped in religiosity.
When I visited the temple, I saw pilgrims praying with unwavering focus. Seeing their devotion was, in a certain manner, quite humbling.
I saw this man taking a holy dip while circling the temple. The scene was exactly as I had envisioned. So I stepped back, looked through the viewfinder, and composed this shot. I find it has a reductionist feel, giving it both simplicity and depth.
“Here's to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They're not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can't do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.”
― Rob Siltanen
Have a great week!
If you’re new, welcome to The Owlet! My name is Ishan Shanavas, and here I talk about my work, along with curating the most interesting ideas on the internet. I confine them to topics like Nature, Culture, Photography, and Art but often fall prey to other genres.
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