Why did someone collect a small, still-unidentified octopus from Bikini Atoll ten days before the detonation of the first true H-bomb? What can these specimens and their jars tell us about what it was like there, at that time, in that place?
This octopus was collected from Bikini Atoll on October 21, 1952, ten days prior to the detonation of the first true H-bomb. A joint effort between civilian scientists and the US Navy, this octopus was a product of the Capricorn Expedition, the first expedition to use SCUBA divers to explore the Pacific.
These are the egg cases of a Pleuroploca species, a type of large predatory sea snail. They were collected by Fred Berry while SCUBA diving in Banderas Bay, Mexico at a depth of 35 feet, on August 21, 1961.
This Common Seadragon (Phyllopterx taeniolatus) was found in New South Wales, Australia. on April 2, 1977.
A Swollen Fig Shell (Ficus vetricosa) collected from the Golfo de Tehetepec, Mexico, on April 10, 1975. This organism was found between 40 and 60 meters deep, off R/V Agassiz. It remained unidentified for twenty two years.
A sea spider (Colossendeis sp.) from Cape Ross in McMurdo Sound, Antarctica. This spider was found on a rock bottom fifteen meters deep, by John Oliver and Pete Slattery on January 25, 1977.
Carl L. Hubbs, the American ichthyologist, found this California two spot octopus (Octopus bimaculoides) in a tidepool in San Isidro, Baja California on May 8, 1961. It wasn't formally identified until 2013, 52 years after it was collected.
This sea spider (Colossendeis sp) was caught with an otter trawl at a depth of 2,700 meters. R. Parker collected this specimen on February 15, 1960, northeast of Isla Guadalupe, Mexico.
This young White Marlin (Tetrapturus albidus) was caught by Bob Pitman on May 16, 1996. He collected thousands of specimens during surveys studying tuna-dolphin interactions. This particular fish is from the Gulf of Mexico, at 26.00N, 87.30W.
This is a squat lobster (Munida hispida) from a depth of 1,250 feet off the Galapagos Islands. It was caught by McConnaughey and Kiwalan using a gillnet off their skiff on January 26, 1977 and identified later that year.
A Hermit crab of the Paguridae clan, found on December 11, 1972. R. Nolan found this specimen in shallow water while SCUBA diving off Eniwetok Atoll in the Marshall Islands.
This pot-beliied seahorse (Hippocampus abdominalis) was found in Napier, New Zealand on July 7, 1977. I found in 40 years later, in the Ichthyology Collection of the California Academy of Sciences.