A palace untouched
“A palace untouched by human hand, with its gardens of rock and water where living creatures play the part of flowers…” — Philippe Diole
Reading descriptions of the form and function of the sea anemone brings to mind horror movies or frightful science fiction. “Venom-filled tentacles…harpoon-like filament…paralyzing neurotoxin…helpless prey.” Really? But look how beautiful they are. Which somehow makes them even more eerie.
I prefer to think of them in the far more appealing terms used by Diole. These creatures certainly do appear to play the undersea part of the flowers for which they were named, and I’m thankful to be able to see them in all their colorful glory…through the thick glass of an aquarium tank. Diole and his colleague, Jacques-Yves Cousteau, have given us a front row seat to some of the most amazing phenomena of nature, sans discomfort, expense or danger on our part.
Every day we benefit from the daring and diligence of bold explorers and the conscientious curators of their discoveries. I hope you will make time soon to browse through a big colorful book, or maybe even visit a museum, to enjoy the wonders of environments far different from the ones with which you’re familiar.