The Oceans’ Depths, Saturated With Life and Color

Source: New York Times

Susan Middleton Explores the Riot of Life in the Oceans in ‘Spineless’

As we stand on the thin crust of this watery planet, our gaze tends to roam from horizon to heavens. We often neglect the riot of life that seethes and thrives below us, especially in the still mysterious depths of our oceans.

When we focus on sea life at all, our fancies turn to the vertebrate exhibitionists — whales, sharks, dolphins — or the delicious fish on our plates. But as the photographer and writer Susan Middleton tells us in her ravishing new book, “Spineless,” marine invertebrates make up more than 98 percent of the oceans’ known animal species. As she writes, “Beneath the ocean waves, hidden from our view, a spectacular profusion of life flourishes.”

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