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It’s A Little Known Fact That…

How about some random trivia this issue, just for the hell of it, and to impress your shipmates as you pour them some more rum!
• Because the chalky shells of certain marine animals have a composition that depends upon the temperature of the water in which they were formed, a “time thermometer” can fathom when a fossil lived, what the water temperature was, how long the fossil lived and in what season it died; even though it was tens of millions of years ago.
• Coral reefs cover just under 1 percent of the sea floor — an area about the size of Texas — but harbor as much as one-quarter of the world’s marine species.
• The ancient Greeks revered red coral as a source of immortality, and wore it as a talisman to ward off all sorts of ills and enchantments.
• The shell of the Tridacna, or the giant clam, is so strong that it has been made into axe heads with which to fell trees.
• Despite the fact that the giant clam of the South Pacific can weigh a quarter of a ton and has a Hollywood inspired reputation as a man-eating machine, it only feeds on microscopic organisms that the tide and current wash into it’s maw.
• The slowest growing of all creatures on earth is the deep-sea clam, taking a century to grow to a length of 0.30 inch.
• Sponges feed by filtering food out of the water; to gain one ounce of body weight they must filter over a ton of water.
• Until the Middle Ages, underwater divers near the Mediterranean coastline collected golden strands from the pen shell, which produced and used the strands to hold itself in place. Called “byssus,” the strands were woven into a luxury textile, a “cloth of gold,” and made into ladies gloves so fine that a pair could be packed into an empty walnut shell. Examples of this lost art exist today in some museums, and the cloth still retains its color and softness.
• Of the Earth’s 372,384 miles of coastline, the nation of Canada has the most, some 15%of the total, or 56,453 miles. Of the 50 United States, Alaska has the most coast- line, almost half the U.S. total, with 5,580 bordering the Pacific Ocean and another 1,060 on the Arctic coast. Florida is a distant second with 580 miles on the Atlantic and another 770 miles on the Gulf of Mexico.
• One mathematician has calculated that if Christopher Columbus spilled a glass of drinking water into the sea back in 1492 —and if that glass of water was by now thor- oughly mixed in all the oceans and rivers of the world —then every glass of water drawn from every faucet in the world would contain as many as 250 molecules from the original water in Columbus’ glass. Just a single drop of water has 1,700,000,000,0000,000,000 (1.7 quintillion) molecules.
• In ancient times, it was believed that tides were caused by an angel moving his foot in and out of the ocean.
• The word “tidy” is derived from the tide, hence the meaning of being well arranged and methodical as associated with the tides.
• Ocean water is bluest where there is the least amount of life.
• Water temperatures where the Gulf Stream meets the Labrador Current off Newfoundland can vary as much as 20 degrees within just a few feet.
• Besides hydrogen and oxygen, there are 44 other elements in seawater, with chloride being the most prevalent and tin being the least.
• Human blood, devoid of its cells and proteins, has the same general makeup as seawater.
• Earth contains 350 million cubic miles of seawater, which contain 150 tons of minerals for every cubic mile.
• About 9 million tons of gold are dissolved in the world’s oceans, about as much as has been mined on earth throughout history.
• Flowing into the Pacific Ocean, the D River in Oregon is the world’s shortest river at just 121 feet long.
• The original word for “rum” was “rumbillion,” distilled from molasses, a byproduct from the refinement of sugar.
• The Seven Seas are actually oceans: North Atlantic, South Atlantic, Arctic, Antarctic, North Pacific, South Pacific and Indian.
• In 1921, the world’s fastest powerboat was the Miss America II driven by Gar Wood, at 80.6mph. By 1978 the powerboat record was held by Spirit of Australia, driven by Ken Warby, up to 317.6 mph. That record stands today.