By: Mickey Addison
Is the Niño Godzilla going to make its appearance this year? Apparently yes, the question is how strong it is going to be. The world’s climate is out of whack. Every day we are witnessing strong and cataclysmic events that were only known to have happened in the distant past. Looks like we are into the hot and drought and/or flush floods age-global warming- and this change is bringing major disruption to the planet’s climate and ecosystems.
The El Niño phenomenon is happening once again and for a while there’s been much speculation on its probable strength, but more recently as its presence is more than evident, the Niño has been named Godzilla for its magnitude. The name “El Niño” originates because this phenomenon usually appears towards the end of the year and used to coincide with Christmas time and the arrival of Jesus Christ. This name originates in South America from the impact of coastal currents in Peru and Ecuador.
A couple of days ago, the largest hurricane ever recorded in the eastern pacific struck Mexico on Friday night, it went from a tropical storm on Thursday to a Cat 5 by Friday evening in a few hours. Fortunately, it mellowed down as it made land fall thus minimizing destruction as of Saturday morning. This last summer has been one of many tropical storms and hurricanes in the eastern pacific something that only occurs every so many decades and one that is definitely related to el Niño. The waters around the equator are extremely warm as one can notice from the above map and the entire planets weather is altered. I reside in the Bay Area of Northern California and this last summer has seen plenty of beach days to the delight of beach goers. The usual foggy conditions did not occur regularly and the sun shined almost every week end at the coast with warm waters.
Because of these warm waters, the warmest I have ever felt in San Francisco since I moved to the Bay Area in 2001, have altered marine wildlife into different patterns. This last week a Great White shark was filmed feeding of a seal next to Alcatraz Island inside the San Francisco bay for the first time, in the same are that five days later a swimming completion was to take place-sketchy- and one distance that the prisoners like Al Capone and Machine Gun Kelly residents of Alcatraz when it was a prison would have loved to cover to make an escape run only 1.5 miles distance to the mainland. In addition, increased shark attacks in the Hawaiian Islands and in the Eastern seaboard of the US this last summer. Sharks showing up in areas remote to their usual waters such as in Arica, Chile last week and cold water species disappearing and being replaced by tropical marine wildlife.
This El Niño event, which has been under observation for months now, still poises the question: How strong is it going to unfold? Scientists and weather people still don’t make the final verdict because it is too hard to predict. Let’s just hope that Mini Godzilla is the one that shows up and not angry Mama Godzilla, which could unleash massive destruction around the globe in the months to come.
Preparation is key in the next few months.
The Peruvian Moche culture has diverse evidence of wave riding during its existence between 100AD and 700AD, but because of additional evidence found in the northern Peruvian site, wave riding has been a regular practice since much earlier. There is evidence that dates back to 3,500 years ago. This is outstanding if you consider the creativity these people had to navigate the breakers of the Huanchaco beaches not only as a means of subsistence but recreational as well.
There is current debate to who rode waves first, the Polynesians or the early Peruvians. It is still subject of controversy, but Peruvian scholars keep finding evidence and are determine to prove that the Moche ancestors were the first civilizations to surf the waves. Some like to state that, the early Moche rode waves in rudimentary crafts and the Caballito de Totora-Little Reed Horses- and that the Polynesians were the first to surf on a wooden plank standing up.
Many Peruvian surfers, and some scholars, claim that wave riding in Peru goes back more than 5,000 years. Gabriel Prieto, of Yale University’s Anthropology Department, is somewhat wary of this claim, though the Huanchaco-born archaeologist has uncovered carbon-dated evidence that wave riding has existed in northern Peru for at least 3,500 years, long before even the Moche and Chimú. Any which way, both civilizations get credit for being the first in the Globe to be the precursors of this fascinating practice, now sport. Maybe, with the current research, in the not too distant future more evidence will come to light and will confirm current theories.
“First on Waves”, just like the Wright Brothers, “First in Flight” of 1903 in the soft coastal dunes of Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina-“Pioneers”. Both activities have come a long ways. Surfing today has evolved thanks to amazing technology that has contributed to the sports development in terms of power and acrobatics- Aerials- and of riding giant waves assisted by a motor water craft- Tow Surfing. Showcasing here what power surfing and aerials are to what surfing is today, Jordy Smith of Republic of South Africa, #18 of 45 in the World Tour, surfing in California last winter. Riding the giant waves of Nazare, Portugal, Pioneer Garrett McNamara. Not only the surf lineup has male testosterone presence, but beauty, grace and power is also present- girls are shredding.
In Aviation, from that first flight in a rudimentary craft, we are on the verge of having commercial flights to space-$250,000 a pop- thanks to a few entrepreneurs that are developing the technology, and on the other hand we are travelling further and further away from Earth in planetary exploration and seeking new civilizations. The future holds fascinating stuff.
“Human kind creativity and innovation has no limits really”
Yes and no. The fact that in some areas sharks are now protected species, have made their numbers rise considerably from a few decades back when they were killed indiscriminately. This is the principal factor for more attacks on humans as they get closer and closer to shore. On the other hand, global warming has completely altered oceans conditions and there is evidence everywhere that natural habitats are impacted as well as marine life that is migrating to new territories in search of food, thus allowing for more interaction with humans. Shark food like sea lions, seals and whales are migrating more for food in unusual patterns and in some cases their juveniles are being left behind for longer periods and closer to shores and islands, attracting sharks.
The most recently and alarming situation with shark attacks is in the Reunion Islands in the Indian Ocean of the eastern coast of South Africa. Since 2012 there have several attacks including deaths that have crippled the islands tourist economy and spirits of its people. It is a problem that the government has yet to implement a plan to mitigate the situation.
Here in the United States attacks on the east coast are on the rise especially in Florida, “Shark Attack Capital of the World”, where attacks are a common occurrence. Most attacks on the east coast are from small sharks that cause wounds but victims survive. Two weeks ago two attacks a couple hours apart and two miles from each other in the North Carolina coast showcased an unusual event where two teen agers lost limbs. But recently great whites that have been satellite tagged up north are patrolling the waters up and down the eastern seaboard which is unusual. I wonder what would be best, to get attacked by a great white or Tiger shark and most likely not live to tell about it, or survive an attack and live with the psychological trauma that comes with it for life. This kind of trauma won’t go away and nightmares and PTSD will be had in an ongoing basis just like a war veteran has to endure from a war injury upon returning from war.
In Australia, the situation in the west coast has gotten out of hand as well. Attacks are on the increase and the government has been forced to start eliminating some its shark population-culling program– because of societal pressure, not without having tons of controversy from conservationists and environmentalists.
In South Africa, house of the largest Great Whites and showcased at Seal Island attacks are on the rise and in 2013 a tourist boat capsized, the bodies were never recovered and tales of the largest shark in existence being the culprit has been all over the news but the government denies it to avoid panic. Like with any tale, there are the believers and the skeptics about this large shark specie known as Megalodon, and this particular individual called Submarine known the be up to 20 meters long and that inhabits the deep oceans. Megalodon is on TV as we speak because Shark Week is about to start next week in Discovery Channel and more evidence will be presented. There have been some sightings and there is some footage about this but it has not been fully proven in the same fashion as the theories on the mermaids, descendants from humans that are supposed to live in the oceans deep. We are nothing in galaxy years as I have said on another post, and it is very possible that a specie between Homu Erectus over a million years ago and Homu Sapiens back 200,000 years back could have adapted to underwater life in the oceans.
If you consider that the ocean floor lies at its deepest point at 11,000 meters deep in the Mariana Trench, and that less than 5% of our oceans have been explored, anything is possible really- not many species live at this depth- but imagine how much water volume there is to conceal wild life still unknown to us. Not until recently, that the large squid from the deeps was still a myth and now is documented on film thanks to Japanese scientist Tsunemi Kubodera that had been on the chase for years. These monster is up to thirteen meters long.
I am not endorsing any of these theories and everyone has an opinion, but I do believe that these species could exist, in the same way that there might be extraterrestrial life out there. There is no reason not to. Just think that not so long ago, humans thought that the earth was flat and if you kept sailing the ocean you would plunder into oblivion once you reached the horizon. This was only 700 years ago.
“It is us humans that are entering the sea world which is not our natural habitat”