Creatures from Inner Space: The Deep: The Extraordinary Creatures of the Abyss by Claire Nouvain
For an eye-goggling, mind-boggling look at some of the amazingly grotesque and exquisitely beautiful creatures of the ocean depths, take a look at Claire Nouvain's recently published The Deep: The Extraordinary Creatures of the Abyss.
In what Andrew Robinson of Literary Review has called "a modern classic of natural history," Nouvain has utilized the advances in recent deep-water exploration technology to assemble a large-format book which glows with over 200 color photographs of little-known (and some yet unnamed) creatures of the deepest regions of the world's oceans. In their dazzling colors, morphologies not even imagined in Star Wars, and variety of adaptations to the biological imperatives of nutrition and reproduction, Just to look upon these animals expands our concept of life.
Reviewer Eric Ormsby describes these incredible photos as "like a series of underwater mug shots crafted by Faberge'." Along with eight photos of creatures who have no name, there are shots of giant squids the size of a barge, giant vent worms, dumbo and glass octopi, frilled sharks, furry lobsters, naked sea butterflies, and pigbutt worms. The prints of bioluminescent and and transparent animals are spellbinding. There are also sections on the little-known life which exists around deep sea hydrothermal and methane vents. Six-year-olds will be drawn to the photos of creatures more bizarre than any Pokemon creation, and older readers can skim the captions or go as far as their interests may take them into this volume.
The Deep has not been received just as a compendium of "ohmygosh" photos, however. Reviewers have applauded Nouvain's extensive informative text and captions and her generous utilization of fifteen eminent scientists who wrote evocative essays explaining life in the ocean abyss. Says Jon Copley of New Scientist, "Words and images combine to convey what we know and how much we don't know about life in our planet's largest habitat." And regarding that exploration of our "inner space," Robert Ballard says, "We must remember that a great deal of unfinished business remains here on earth."
And, judging from what this book reveals, what an exciting, inviting business it will be!