day 5 of lockdown

28th march 2020 / 6:19pm

I began my morning with a half an hour workout at home. I then spent the rest of the day drawing and watching the office. It was very relaxed. The weather was cold and windy – it is strange how that is no longer the decider of how I spend my day.

day 1 of coronavirus lockdown

tuesday 24th march 2020 / 12:07pm

Yesterday was the first day of the national lockdown implemented by the government to stop the spread of coronavirus. We are only permitted to leave our house for exercise and essential shopping. I began the day with a PE lesson with my nephew and went for a run about lunchtime. It was a lovely day outside – not a cloud in sight.

glowing coral

Recently, I watched the documentary ‘Chasing Coral’ on Netflix and it taught me something really interesting about the reefs that I did not know. As we all know, the damage we are doing to our planet is having a big impact on our coral reefs – 93% of the heat we generate is absorbed by the seas to stop it from overheating our atmosphere. When the oceans heat up, the coral cannot survive; it bleaches, then dies. What the makers of ‘Chasing Coral’ found when filming the documentary, is that as a last attempt to save themselves, corals begin to glow. For shallow corals, the green light they emit is a form of sunblock against the sun’s radiation. Deep water corals, however, have to soack up as much light as possible for photosynthesis and they use a red flourescent protein the turn the blue light they recieve at the ocean floor into a red-orange light that penetrates deeper into the tissue and feeds the algea better.

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/deep-water-corals-glow-their-lives-180963967/

https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.pinterest.de%2Fpin%2F803751864725509123%2F&psig=AOvVaw0lX6Qdk_potg8YRUfmWI7p&ust=1584532394996000&source=images&cd=vfe&ved=0CAIQjRxqFwoTCMi416a5oegCFQAAAAAdAAAAABA9
Image result for glwoing corals
https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.bbc.com%2Fearth%2Fstory%2F20150625-the-corals-that-glow&psig=AOvVaw0lX6Qdk_potg8YRUfmWI7p&ust=1584532394996000&source=images&cd=vfe&ved=0CAIQjRxqFwoTCMi416a5oegCFQAAAAAdAAAAABBC

coral / Natural History Museum visit

I recently visited the Natural History Museum in London with intention to research the way they display and curate their exhibits. Whilst I was focusing mostly on the cabinets used, methods of labelling etc. there was one object that caught my eye. NHM has a Turbinaria coral on display in the Hintze Hall. It is a gorgeous specimen which weighs over 300kg . It’s large size and dsiplay in a glass case makes it a striking and intriguing piece which indicates its huge importance. The coral reef is dying and I believe seeing objects like this makes a statement about this tragic truth – it was on this visit that I decided I would too like to make a comment about this.

The giant Turbinaria coral has been in the Museum for 150 years
https://www.nhm.ac.uk/discover/highlighting-coral-reefs-at-risk.html

This specimen was found around 150 years ago and is significantly large because it’s conditions were a lot better, allowing it to grow. As coral is getting smaller and the reef is quickly dying, it makes me wonder what would happen if all the coral in the world were to die. What would happen to the fish and to us humans? Would it be a completely different world? I am considering exploring this idea through a similar approach to that of the way museums discuss the existence of dinosaurs etc. – could coral be exhibited in a museum context and presented as something that is now extinct? The specimen would be seen as a relic or an archeological find that speaks about how our planet used to be.