For the last year, I have not been publishing many blog posts. I can now reveal that the reason for this is not laziness (at least not entirely), but due to the fact I have been writing a book about the oceans. The book is called “Do Fish Sleep?: and 38 other ocean mysteries” and it is available to buy for kindle* via Amazon for a very reasonable price ($2.99 in the US, £1.99 in the UK, and EUR 2,99 in Europe). Over the next few months I will be publishing the entire first chapter of the book (Ocean Secrets), one “ocean mystery” at a time, on Words in mOcean, starting tomorrow with “Why Is the Ocean Salty”. It is my hope that you will enjoy what you read and go on to buy the full copy of the book. For more information, please read the “preface” below or visit the Amazon page.
Originally, this was going to be a book for the average man on the street with a passing interest in the oceans. But the more I researched and wrote, the more I realised that I didn’t actually know the answers to many of the questions myself. I studied the ocean for 8 years, and yet, I had no idea (at least not with much certainty) how an octopus is able to camouflage itself, where the water on earth originally came from, or whether fish need to drink. Perhaps this is because the reality of marine science is very different to the public’s perception: most marine scientists spend infinitely more time sifting through mud in the cold, counting microscopic organisms for hours in a lab, or fiddling around with Excel spreadsheets, than we do visiting tropical coral reefs and rescuing sea turtles. For every interesting fact about the ocean we learnt as an undergraduate, we had to sit through maybe 1000 truly tedious bits of information. Another factor is specialisation: the further you progress in marine science, the more specialised your area of expertise becomes until a point where you know everything about nothing. In this book I have tried to answer some of the most interesting questions about the ocean, across a broad range of topics. I am confident that whether you are a high school student, non-scientist, a recent marine science PhD graduate or even a professor of marine science, this book will have something in it for you.
The book has 6 themed sections: Ocean Secrets, Something Fishy, All the Small Things, Mysteries of the Deep, Cunning Creatures and Sea Change. Under each theme, I have attempted to answer a number of questions about the oceans, ranging from the trivial (Does the Bermuda Triangle really exist?) to the serious (How far will sea levels rise in the next 100 years?). Each themed section ends with a “What If” scenario, such as What if all the fish in the ocean were removed…how far would the sea level drop?
I hope that you enjoy this book, and that you learn as much from reading it as I have from writing it.