Ostracods: A Dazzling Display

By Nicole Kragness

In the water at Oil Slick!

On the bus we all anxiously await the adventure we have in store. A short ride later we arrive at our destination: a scenic dive site on the northeast side of the island ironically called Oil Slick. The sea glows in the sun and shines its bright radiant blue with not a trace of oil in sight.

One leg at a time all of us struggle into our wetsuits. We stare off at the sunset while patiently awaiting our flashlights. Each of us walk up to the rocky overhang and look onto the horizon as we hop off into the sapphire water. Our masks and snorkels are now on and we begin to buddy up. Slowly the light begins to fade and visibility diminishes. We start to get restless and wait patiently when out of nowhere it begins.

The floor is lit up with hundreds of beautiful blue lights that radiate so amazingly. Water starts to flood my mask due to my smile and everyone looks up to see each other’s laughter. I could feel the happiness and excitement radiating off of everyone’s masks when suddenly even more of these ostracods spawn. The waters are filled with the little bioluminescent plankton that give off a breathtaking view. I look up and I see puddles of even more blue like hitting the surface. I felt a true wave of happiness that rushed my system and for the twenty minutes that the ostracods spawned I felt like all my worries, all my problems sunk away and got carried away by the ocean. All that mattered was this unbelievable experience that left me with true appreciation for the life that takes up our oceans. The ostracods slowly dwindled and eventually we had to leave. We all stepped onto the dock and all you could see were smiles.

To be completely honest I have never experienced something so unlike the ostracod and it is so refreshing to be able to learn about something new and then see it first-hand. I am so thankful for the opportunity to do so!

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