You’ve probably heard the old line about how we know more about space than we do our own oceans, but whether or not that’s true doesn’t matter when it comes to finding life, because only one of those options is definitely teeming with fascinating, strange foreign creatures, and that would be the sea.W hen you watch amazing, up-close footage of living coral, which resides under the water here on earth, it might as well be a mass of gorgeous aliens created for a sci-fi film.
This short, titled “Coral Colors” was posted to Vimeo by myLapse earlier this year, but we just came across it over at Laughing Squid, and now we can’t stop staring at its beautiful images. Their goal was “to show movement and the enormous chromatic beauty of corals, a kind of marine animals that despite being one of the oldest animals on our planet, are mostly unknown,” and we’re fairly confident in saying they did just that. We had no idea the science fiction dreams of distant planets were so real, right here on our own planet.
Making this required 25000 photographs over the course of a year. Part of the reason the colors and details are so vibrant is because they were shot with a macro lens, which is capable of capturing up-close images with much more clarity.
The coral here is also shown in time-lapse, since their actual movements are so slow they are hard to see with the naked eye. That’s how we can see one that looks like it’s opening its mouth to seemingly suck in air, like a vegetarian underwater Sarlacc, or the others that look like a pod of glowing neon alien babies hatching. The coral don’t look like domicile flowers floating on a rock; they look as alive as a school of fish being chased by a shark… or even the shark.
Ultimately the filmmakers hope that this short movie will help raise awareness for the conservation of the Great Barrier Reef, which they say is under threat from global warming and industrial projects of the government of Australia. You can visit their site for more information.
(If you remember hearing something about ocean preservation recently it might be because this past August President Obama signed an executive order creating the “largest ecologically protected area on the planet,” when he expanded the Hawaiian Marine National Monument to over half-a-million square miles of both land and sea, more than four times its previous size. That order will help preserve, among other living creatures, coral life native to those waters.)
Besides its being a call to action for environmentalists everywhere, the film is inspirational for aspiring science-fiction writers or filmmakers; they can just re-watch this again and again, because it turns out the coral of our planet is as fascinating and beautiful as any space creatures we can imagine. Now we just have to make sure we protect it from ourselves.
What did this video make you think of? Is it like an underwater Pandora from Avatar? Or a beautiful nightmare of a Stephen King novel? Tell us what this gorgeous, strange coral looked like to you by wading deep into our comments section below.