Hi Reddit!

I am Dr. Nathan J. Robinson, a marine biologist who is best known for rescuing a sea turtle that had a straw stuck in its nose and for filming the first-ever footage of a live giant squid in US waters. In addition, I have used novel camera technology to gain insights into what it is like to swim through the oceans like a sea turtle. My videos have help inspire countless people to live more ocean-friendly lives and have connected with audiences worldwide. I am excited to answer any of your questions and to tell you more about my new plans to film the largest squid on the planet!

I am also on Instagram @wild.blue.science if you want to learn more about my work!

I have an MMarBiol from the University of Southampton (UK), a Ph.D from Purdue University (USA), and was a post-doc at Purdue University Fort Wayne (USA). I am now a researcher at the Fundacion Oceanografic in Spain.

Proof: https://imgur.com/A84tYno

Comments: 522 • Responses: 90  • Date: 

BiopsyJones399 karma

Was the sea angry that day, my friends?

WildBlueScience156 karma

I don't think the sea was angry, I just think it likes to play rough.

Leanne_Cock11 karma

Thank god Doctor Nathan J Robinson who's videos inspire countless people, was there to come to the rescue!

WildBlueScience18 karma

Thank you!

qpv374 karma

The day you recorded the giant squid was intense! What are the odds of seeing the Kraken AND being struck by lightning.

Why are giant squid so elusive?

WildBlueScience632 karma

I know it was a crazy day! The reason that giant squid are so elusive is that we have been trying to look for them in the wrong way. When we explore the deep-sea, we often use bright white lights to pierce through the darkness (remembering that sunlight only penetrates through the first few hundred meters of the water column and everything below this is in continual darkness). However, giant squid have the largest eyes in the animal kingdom. This means that they are able to see us and our lights long before, we are able to see them.

The secret to capturing them on camera has therefore been to use incredibly low-light sensitive cameras.

qpv169 karma

Does night vision technology work in water? Or can squid see that also?

WildBlueScience510 karma

It's difficult to use infra-red technology under water as water absorbs red light quickly. This is one of the reasons that most things appear blue when you go diving. However, there are now some incredible low-light camera that allow you to film almost anything with minimal light. A great example is some of new footage on the NetFlix documentary "Night On Earth". I recommend checking it out to learn more!

JPWRana19 karma

Was this the same camera used for another docementary... I believe Planet Earth 2, when sting rays were eating at the Gulf of Mexico?

WildBlueScience29 karma

Are you referring to the cameras that we used to film the giant squid or the cameras used in Night On Earth?

masterbeast9612 karma

For the giant squid.

WildBlueScience49 karma

The camera that we used to film the giant squid is called the MEDUSA. It's a one-of-a-kind and you can find more details about it here: https://www.teamorca.org/giant-squid.html

We are also currently building an upgraded camera system that we will are hoping to complete later this year...

factoid_30 karma

I always wondered why everybody went down with huge bright lights. I know it makes it easier for people to see but surely that’s gotta scare off a lot of the creatures down there.

WildBlueScience87 karma

It definitely does. Even worse though, those lights can be so bright, and the eyes of deep-sea animals can be so sensitive, that those lights can even literally burn-out their retinas making them permanently blind!

Flyingwheelbarrow9 karma

Damn you are awesome.

WildBlueScience5 karma

You are awesome!

Darkrhoads275 karma

What is the most impactful thing a regular person can do to impact the ocean health if we live in a landlocked state and volunteering isn’t really an option?

WildBlueScience598 karma

I would say number one is to vote. The governments that we elect and the decisions that they make have an incredible impact on ocean health! A solid second place would be to cut as many single-use plastics out of your life as possible. You might live in a landlocked state but your trash can travel the world. If we can reduce our production of single-use plastics, this will have an huge impact in reducing plastic pollution throughout the oceans.

jimmycarr135 karma

Similar question, what can one do in a coastal location? Or FL specifically.

geekgrrl085 karma

Not OP but I live on Vancouver Island in Canada and we do beach cleanups almost every weekend. You could join a local Surfrider chapter or start your own. They are always doing beach cleanups (solo nowadays but used to be group events), water quality testing (to check if it's safe to swim/surf and collating the data for use around the continent), and Hold On To Your Butt campaigns/events with a goal to keep harmful cigarette waste out of marine environments. I'm sure there's other orgs that do beach cleanups too :) and I'm sure there's many ways to help the oceans that aren't mentioned here, this is just one of my favourites

WildBlueScience47 karma

Great advice!

WildBlueScience28 karma

My answer is the same. However, if you also live in a coastal location, then my best advise it to get out there and start cleaning those beaches!

MidnightTokr-1 karma

Ok but what about overthrowing the economic system defined by endless consumer consumption and ecological destruction?

WildBlueScience4 karma

And one of the best ways to change the political system is to vote! If the voting public demands a reforms to our economically-driven system, then it with in our reach. But we have to band together and vote for it!

The_Collector4-1 karma

Since China, Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Egypt, Thailand, Malaysia, Nigeria, Bangladesh, and Brazil all pollute the oceans more than the United States, how will voting really help on a global scale?

Trekky062375 karma

Many of those countries pollute to serve US consumption. And often, we literally ship our recycling and trash waste overseas, where lax environmental regulations mean trash is dumped into rivers.

The US has not reduced its pollution. It has outsourced it.

WildBlueScience28 karma

This is very true!

WildBlueScience30 karma

My advice is the same regardless of which country you live in. Even if other countries create more pollution, this doesn't mean that the US can still make a difference. Every little helps!

BertBanana25 karma

As a Nebraskan in the only Triple Landlocked state. I greatly appreciate this question being top. LoL

WildBlueScience22 karma

And I greatly appreciate you effort to help clean up the ocean, even if you live in a land-locked state. Every little helps!

reesemccracken145 karma

Removing the straw from the turtle’s nose looked really hard. It was necessary but do you think it hurt him? The pictures of Wales with ropes around their fins also make me sad.

WildBlueScience277 karma

The turtle was bleeding after the straw was removed, so I am certain that it hurt. However, I can only imagine how much more it must have hurt while it was stuck in there!

MonstroParrandero25 karma

How do you imagine that straw got so far up it’s nose? I mean it was really in there and I had so much anxiety that it would tear and you wouldn’t get it out

WildBlueScience41 karma

I believe the turtle had eaten the straw and then when it tried to regurgitate it, it was passed into it's nostrils instead of coming out of it's mouth. You can read our full explanation here: http://www.seaturtle.org/mtn/archives/mtn147/mtn147-3.shtml

BuyMoreGearOrShoot74 karma

When you embark on such ambitious projects that require extended periods at sea, a large support crew, expensive equipment, etc., I can only imagine the amount of money this must cost. Do you mind discussing how these types of projects are funded (basically, where does the money come from)?

Edit- thank you for bringing awareness to these issues!

WildBlueScience106 karma

Long missions are sea are nearly always funded by government institutions (e.g. NOAA, NERC), media networks (e.g. BBC, DiscoveryChannel), or privately funded by huge philanthropic agencies (e.g. OceanX, RevOcean). More often than not it is also a combination of the three.

SRTHellKitty12 karma

Follow-up question on this. I assume government and philanthropic funds are given with the expectation that all findings be open to the public. However, I also assume that funds from media companies are given with the expectation that any finding be exclusively owned by that media company.

Do these opposing interests exist and how do you manage this?

WildBlueScience12 karma

It all depends on the situation. I try to ensure that the footage is always publicly available as my goal is not to make money out of this footage, but to share it with the biggest audience.

TheSadWunkle70 karma

How does it feel to impact a whole generation?

WildBlueScience104 karma

I feel proud to be part of a new generation of eco-minded people who are ready to put the health of the world first!

DrJawn63 karma

What chance do we really have of defeating global forces and saving the oceans or are we completely lost to a worldwide epidemic of container ships, cruise ships, and dump trucks of plastic waste?

Where can I volunteer to help?

WildBlueScience117 karma

Hope is not lost. In fact, lots of recent studies have shown how quickly the oceans can recover when protected. And even if in the long-run, we are not able to save the oceans, I would rather die trying than to give up when there is still hope!

As for volunteering, there are a million and one options worldwide! It all depends on where you want to travel to, what you want to do, and how much time you can dedicate. Lots of volunteering positions will also require volunteer fees as well, but there are also cheaper options out there if you look for them. The key is the less money volunteer organizations charge, the more they actually need your help and not just your money!

The_Running_Free8 karma

Can you shed any light on that plastic pollution? I’ve read a few things stating that most of plastic pollution in oceans is actually from fishing crews and equipment than it is the bottle of soda i just threw away.

WildBlueScience14 karma

You are completely right that the biggest source of plastic in the ocean is from discarded fishing gear. Nevertheless, land-based sources (e.g. plastic bags, bottles, etc...) are in a close second place. If we want to clean-up the ocean then we are going to have to tackle all these issues together. We can't just focus on one and ignore the others.

TooManyAlcoholics7 karma

Would you recommend diet free of fish and sea food then? I keep hearing that we need to cut down on single use plastics, but have also heard that any fishing is really overfishing as we need to wait for the ocean to recover. Wouldn't just not eating fish be one of the best things an individual can do?

WildBlueScience10 karma

This is very true. I do believe that there are some sustainable ways to eat fish (e.g. you can eat invasive lionfish and help the environment at the same time) but cutting our fish consumption is generally a great way to help ocean health.

Johnny_Carcinogenic53 karma

Iss there any viable option on the horizon for significantly dealing with the enormous volume of plastic already in our oceans?

WildBlueScience110 karma

There are solutions but they will take decades or more to be effective on a big-scale. At this point, we will also likely never be able to remove all the plastic from the ocean. There are simply too many small micro-fragments out there for us to be able to collect it all. However, just because there is no easy solution, this does not mean that we shouldn't try. Quiet the opposite. Every plastic straw or plastic bag removed from the ocean could help save a turtle, whale, or any marine animal.

Johnny_Carcinogenic37 karma

I am very conscious of trying to curtail my personal use of plastics, but I do understand how some can feel overwhelmed by the size of the problem and the sheer volume of single use plastics flooding our environment. I hope they understand how their small changes can have a bigger impact.

WildBlueScience25 karma

Fully agree and well said!

seajellie12 karma

I proudly use my cloth bags at the grocery and only buy pop in a plastic bottle rarely (and reuse them after!). I manage our university's chemistry lab and try to closely regulate plastic pipette and glove usage (when it is wasteful and not conducive to safety).

It is hard to feel like you are doing enough, however.

WildBlueScience4 karma

The reality is that none of us will be doing enough until this problem is addressed globally. Until, keep doing everything that you can and be proud of the impact that you are having as an individual!

sonia72quebec46 karma

Stupid question here, do you eat fish and seafood?

WildBlueScience42 karma

Occasionally but only when I know it has been harvested in a sustainable way.

popiyo12 karma

Can you expand on this a little bit? It seems so hard to tell if fish is sustainably harvested unless you literally know who caught it. Any resources to help find determine if a fish was caught sustainably?

WildBlueScience16 karma

It depends. In most instances, I do only eat seafood when I know who caught it. For example, I lived in The Bahamas for the past 3 years and only really ate lionfish. As it is an invasive species in The Bahamas, you can actually help local ecosystems by fishing for and eating lionfish. In the majority of cases though, it's difficult to know where you fish comes from and so I refrain from eating it. There are some great guides out there though and the most thorough one to date is likely SeaFood Watch: https://www.seafoodwatch.org/seafood-recommendations

Fuckthepavement3 karma

Can you expand on this? I know there are several “certifications” if you will that can be found on seafood, but it’s difficult to know what to believe.

Can you recommend any food labels to search for, or are you specifically referring to local seafood caught by hand?

WildBlueScience3 karma

There are some great guides out there though and the most thorough one to date is likely SeaFood Watch:

https://www.seafoodwatch.org/seafood-recommendations

Check out SeaFood Watch: https://www.seafoodwatch.org/seafood-recommendations It is easily the most thorough and reliable guide to sustainable seafood that is currently out there.

efrogers22 karma

If you’re concerned about your eating habits’ impact on marine life, I’d recommend not eating shrimp, due to their impacts on the critical habitat of mangrove forests

WildBlueScience15 karma

Fully agree!

Nfox2445 karma

Did you publish the kraken video and if so, did you have a ceremony where someone said “release the kraken!”?

WildBlueScience53 karma

The video has already been published. You can check it out here: https://youtu.be/dqLLiNxxKUI

I wish I had the foresight to say "release the Kraken" but I was too speechless to say anything cool!

FlameSky2534037 karma

Are you George Costanza?

WildBlueScience58 karma

Yes. My hair grew back after Seinfeld ended.

FlameSky2534018 karma

Cool!

(I'm sorry for the bullshit question.)

WildBlueScience28 karma

Haha. No worries! I'll answer nonsensical questions all day.

thepixelmania7 karma

Why?

(Really sorry)

Edit: Love your Spirit. Best regards from Gothenburg, Sweden!

WildBlueScience10 karma

Why not?

DionysusThree32 karma

What’s your favorite marine animal?

WildBlueScience107 karma

My favorite marine animal is the leatherback turtle, although the animal that I most want to see is the colossal squid!

Oh and my favourite scientific name for any marine animal is for the dungong, who's scientific name is Dugong dugong dugon.

abkell23341 karma

So that’s where dewgong..the Pokémon...gets its name and call

WildBlueScience16 karma

Haha. I guess so!

RvP02027 karma

Do you think there are there any marine animals that although are considered extinct but might still be out there waiting to be rediscovered?

WildBlueScience68 karma

That's a difficult question to answer. I doubt that there are many more species that we thought were extinct but then rediscover, like the coelacanth. That said, it is estimated that 50 % of the species in the ocean still haven't been discovered and so there are definitely surprises waiting for us as we keep exploring!

RvP02017 karma

Thank you for answering my question :)

WildBlueScience21 karma

You are more than welcome!

JustALuckyDog15 karma

Do you believe merpeople could be part of that 50%?

WildBlueScience44 karma

I wish it were true but sadly no. Mer-people only belong in myths, Disney movies, and in advertisements in the Zoolander movie.

Periple24 karma

Hi Nathan,

Amazing footage of the giant squid. A few questions about them. How deep do they live and how rare of a species do you think they are (vs. How rare it is to film one). And finally how big are they at adult age?

Thank you!

WildBlueScience39 karma

Hi! We think giant squid live between 200 and 1,000 m deep but we still don't know their exact depth range. I actually think there are a lot more giant squid out there than we expect. I just think we are really bad at capturing them on camera!

The best estimates predict that the largest giant squid can grow to around 14 m, although some estimates have them growing as large as 18 m long!

twinola23 karma

My dad is the marine biologist who found the latest pocket shark, Mollisquama Parini. His name is Mark Grace. His find is definitely not as cool as that giant squid, but he did work on sea turtles for almost a decade in the 80s and 90s in the Gulf of Mexico. Didn’t know if you knew him or crossed paths with him? He does lots of seminars too. Now he’s mostly a shark man. That turtle truly needed you, you’re a hero!

WildBlueScience7 karma

Thanks you! I have never met your Dad but he sounds like a marine biology legend!

michalemabelle21 karma

What is your favorite plural form of octopus & are said creatures earthlings or not?

WildBlueScience56 karma

Octopods, of course. And these creatures are 100 % earthlings with the exception of cthulhu.

michalemabelle16 karma

Acceptable.

Follow up question, what is your favorite type of octopus?

WildBlueScience88 karma

Best octopus is the dumbo octopus. Worst octopus is Ursula from The Little Mermaid.

michalemabelle10 karma

I love the dumbo! I think they're everyone's favorite, because they are so cute & squishy looking & humans tend to like that sort of thing.

Ursula is my favorite dark Disney.

Thank you for your work & for taking time to answer questions.

WildBlueScience13 karma

It's my pleasure. Thank you for your interest!

kingbovril5 karma

Isn’t it spelled octopodes?

WildBlueScience8 karma

There is no universally agreed upon way of spelling the plural of octopus. So we are both right and wrong at the same time!

jorph21 karma

Im 25, no post-secondary education. What steps can I take to do this as a career?

WildBlueScience64 karma

Find somewhere to volunteer. There are great marine conservation organizations around the world that just need dedicated people to help and it's a great way to get your foot in the door.

I began my career in marine conservation by volunteering for a sea turtle protection organization in Greece. After one season, they offered me a job. Next, I was offered another job in Costa Rica. And through this I met the person who eventually became my Ph.D supervisor.

imafraid0famericans20 karma

As an aspiring marine biology student, what is a good first step towards a related career?

WildBlueScience26 karma

Volunteer! Get yourself out there and start getting involved in whatever part of marine biology interests you the most!

-Nycter-11 karma

Hi I've heard that most of the ocean pollution and waste comes from big companies. Is there a way to help stop them? I love sea animals and it breaks my heart when I see a massive oil spill or millions of plastic water bottles or soda cans just floating around.

WildBlueScience3 karma

There certainly is! Stop buying things from large companies that do not have good track records when it comes to polluting and only purchase items from responsible companies. Every time you purchase something, you are making a vote in support of the company that you are giving your money too!

BusinessCreditCassie11 karma

I’m excited about the Ocean Cleanup Project to help clean up the oceans plastics.

Anything else you’re excited about to help with our plastic problem?

WildBlueScience13 karma

I think the biggest changes will come about from people making little changes in their lives. Cleaning the ocean is only half the fight, the other half halting any sources of marine plastic pollution. We can clean the ocean all we want, but if we don't address the source then we will be fighting a loosing battle.

kidtykat10 karma

I wanted to go into marine biology when I was a teen but never did. I ended up getting a degree in finance this year and work in transportation currently. Anyway I can apply those skills to becoming a marine biologist? Where would I start?

WildBlueScience8 karma

As a first step, I would start volunteering for a marine biology program. When you start to see how they work, you can start to figure out where best to apply your skills. I have several friends who transitions into marine biology after spending up to 10 years working in another field. When they made the switch, they quickly began to realize that they previous skills were in high demand (as the majority of marine biologists only studied marine biology!).

Scrib_Up_Your_Ethra10 karma

Do you know my dude Jotaro? They say he's a bit too attracted to dolphins.

WildBlueScience5 karma

That is indeed the word on the grapevine...

indescentproposal9 karma

can you please speak to the actual, specific, singular impact of plastic straws, as in: truthfully, how prominently does this sole form of plastic pollution figure among the myriad plastic (and other) pollution in our oceans?

i’ve done beach cleanups and the single biggest offender is always cigarette butts — which contain plastic, as so few smokers seem to know or care.

add to that the fact that, reportedly, the majority of plastics in our oceans is comprised of disused fishing nets/equipment and i’m left ever so skeptical of the “anti-straw” movement... it’d be immensely helpful if you, at ground zero for the video that sparked it, would speak truthfully about how large, or not so large, a role plastic straws play in the total of plastic pollution in our oceans.

thanks in advance.

WildBlueScience4 karma

About 8 million metric tons of plastic enter the oceans each year. Of these, plastic straws only make up a minor faction. Thus, even if we all stop using plastic straws immediately, this will not fix the problem of marine plastic pollution. That said, my video showed the impact that a single plastic item, in this case a straw, can have on the oceans. It therefore essential that we do all that we can to address any and all sources of plastic entering into the ocean. I also believe that straws are platform for raising awareness. They are a superfluous item in our lives that we can easily live without and so the anti-straw movement has provide a platform to get people talking about living more eco-friendly lives.

samaramatisse8 karma

Did you feel like a fish out of water while in Indiana? (You do stints in West Lafayette and Fort Wayne, you're one of us forever.)

WildBlueScience9 karma

Haha. This is one of my favorite questions so far in this AMA!

Yes, 100 %. It was the only time in my adult life that I lived anywhere that wasn't next to the ocean. That said, the people there were incredibly welcoming and I learned to love it over time! If I could do it all again, I would still have my stint as a Hoosier!

Renfah878 karma

Reddit hitting close to home today. I am good friends with a certain tall-ish blonde girl from Germany that was on that boat that day. You also probably know my wife :-)

How is your day going?

WildBlueScience6 karma

Please say hi to Chris for me!

quenual3 karma

If you are referring to Dr. Christine Figgener she wasn’t just on the boat, she filmed and uploaded the video

WildBlueScience5 karma

All completely true! If Chris didn't film the video then the world wouldn't know about this event!

Diver_Dave8 karma

I was lucky enough to have an amazing encounter with a young sperm whale off the island of Dominica. During the encounter, I pulled small squid tentacles out of his mouth (admittedly a stupid thing to do). These tentacles had hooks on them instead of suckers. Would these be baby squid he was eating, or full-sized squid that only had tentacles a few inches in length. Do these squid school? Do we have a good understanding of how the sperm whales are hunting at depth?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tyr1Y8OqwiY&t=33s

WildBlueScience4 karma

Wow, this video is amazing!

It's difficult to know from the video if these are tentacles from baby squid or small but full-sized squid. It could be either! Lots of squid form school and lots have hooks for their suckers, so unless you have some close-up photos, I am unable to identify them further.

We have a great understanding of how sperm whales hunt at depth. They use echolocation to visualize their prey much in the same way that bats do! This is how they are able to hunt in the deep-sea where there is no light!

Mchaitea7 karma

Would removing a foreign body like that cause permanent damage or will the bleeding eventually stop? I know no straw is better than a straw but I'm trying to think about how long it was in there and if a marine animals body adapts around or to it.

WildBlueScience6 karma

The body can begin to heal around foreign objects but you have to remember that this was stuck into this turtle's nostril. This means that this animal's breathing would be severely limited even if the surround tissue had healed.

quagma3336 karma

How cool was the kraken? Was it as awesome in person as it looks in the videos? Was it terrifying? Do you know how many people are jealous of you for experiencing this, including me? Serious: what can normal people amtgat aren't giant corporations that have tendencies to spill oil and stuff do to reduce our impact on the environment?

WildBlueScience16 karma

Filming the giant squid was one of my life's biggest highlights! It was awe-inspring and a million other things but it was not in the slightest big scary. In fact, you can see how timid the squid was and as soon as realized that it couldn't eat the bait, it vanished back into the deep. We went looking for a monster but we found something that was more scared of us than we were of it...

quagma3333 karma

Fella looks like a big cute softie to me. Such an awesome event! Just how much more is hidden down there, and in what crazy permutations of life! What's it like being in a submersible?

WildBlueScience6 karma

It is estimated that we have only discovered about 50 % of all the animals in the deep-sea and so there is still plenty new exciting things that await us as we keep exploring!

Being in a submarine is a surprisingly tranquil experience. As soon as you drop below the surface, it is serenely peaceful... There is very little noise, no phone signal (and so no emails!), and you are surrounded by the deepest blue that you can imagine!

Middle_Holiday6 karma

Hi Nathan. The turtle video was moving for many people, but I wasn’t eager to go out and start using a metal straw. Do you use disposable straws? Is there reason to believe this turtle injury is a common occurrence?

Also if I live in the Midwest US and am properly disposing of single use plastics, is there any reason to believe they could somehow end up in the ocean?

WildBlueScience7 karma

Hi! I just never use straws, disposable or otherwise. I don't really see the point! As for whether this is a common occurrence, we actually found an almost identical incident a month after the straw. The only difference being that this time it was a plastic fork. The video is here: https://www.instagram.com/p/CB5aKQbqC0p/

Even if you live in the mid-west, you trash doesn't necessarily stay in the mid-west. Among other reasons, huge amounts of plastic end up in rivers like the Wabash eventually drain into the ocean.

Whatevermynameis666 karma

I remember reading somewhere that the vast majority of ocean pollution comes from fishing nets rather than single use plastics. Is that true or false? If it is true, how would we help stop this type of pollution?

WildBlueScience6 karma

This is true. Discarding fishing gear is the most common source of plastic pollution in the ocean. The best way to fix this issue is to reduce our dependence on seafood and if you are going to eat seafood then make sure that you are supporting sustainable, responsible fisheries.

seb694206 karma

What are some ways young people like myself can be involved in marine biology without being a marine biologist?

WildBlueScience6 karma

I have lots of friends who aren't marine biologists but still volunteer on their vacations or weekends to help marine biology projects!

jerseyetr5 karma

How scared/elated were you when you caught the Kraken on video?

I know I shouted holy shit when i saw it

WildBlueScience6 karma

Elated. I've likely never had as much adrenaline pumping through in my veins as I did at that moment!

VituzSvk5 karma

What is the most dangerous thing you ever did?

WildBlueScience8 karma

I climbed a mountain in New Zealand without knowing anything about wilderness survival and almost froze to death. Eventually, I was rescued by a bunch of hikers that were much better prepared than I was to be climbing a mountain in the snow.

I have also been stranded at sea in Thailand when my kayak sank. Thankfully, some Thai fishers drove past and saved me.

Sometimes I wonder how I am still alive today...

travisdeahl7245 karma

Have you met any famous people?

WildBlueScience13 karma

I met Sylvia Earle when I was working in Costa Rica. I also stood behind Edward Norton in an airport once...

cephalosaurus3 karma

I almost went into marine biology (ended up an art teacher instead) and Sylvia Earle was always one of my heroes! What was it like meeting her? Also how amazing was it to see a giant squid?!

WildBlueScience6 karma

Meeting Slyvia Earle was amazing but I am sad to say that I was too young to really appreciate how big a moment it was! Looking back, I wish I asked her more questions!

As your filming the giant squid, it was like living all my childhood dreams at the same time! One of the biggest highlights of my life!

travisdeahl7243 karma

Cool, which airport did you see Edward at?

WildBlueScience12 karma

Liberia airport in Costa Rica. I even got a friend to take my photo as proof! Here it is: https://imgur.com/tJaW9Fh

I'm in the green t-shirt and Edward is in white.

travisdeahl7244 karma

Wow, that's awesome, I've never been to Costa Rica. Do you recommend going there? and Do you recommend any particular thing to do there?

WildBlueScience4 karma

I fully recommend a visit to Costa Rica. I lived there for 4 years and loved every second!

My favorite parts are the national parks. If you visit any of them, you won't be disappointed! Oh and zip-lining in Monteverde... it will take your breath away!

fries4theworld5 karma

Hi Nathan! Have you guys encountered any other marine animals that got stuck in human waste? PS: I just became a Boilermaker this year!

WildBlueScience13 karma

Yes, shortly after the straw incident, I actually removed a fork from a sea turtles nose. The video is here: https://youtu.be/VRiTABRQOjk I have also removed plastic bags, fishing line, and other plastic objects from literally hundreds of other turtles.

P.S. Boiler up!

Harfosaurus5 karma

Whats the differences between the giant squid and the colossal squid and when did we find out there were two kinds?

WildBlueScience8 karma

Colossal squid are heavier, longer, and only found in the Southern Ocean. While giant squid are light, smaller, and found in all the world's oceans except the Southern Ocean.

We have known that they both exist for over a hundred years. We just talk about colossal squid less because they are only found in one of the most remote habitats on the planet.

Deyaz5 karma

Considering the development of the last years when do you think kraken will become a massive problem for tourists? Or is that not the kraken but the other one with the name I can’t remember?

WildBlueScience5 karma

I don't think tourism is going to be a problem for the giant squid. To see one requires hours and hours of waiting at the bottom of the ocean sitting in total darkness. I don't think this would be appealing to most people and so for the time being the kraken is safe from this.

Xirxee4 karma

Hello Dr. Robinson! Im not sure if this is in your range of questions youre able to ask but I'd like to try. Im currently a biology undergrad who always had a huge passion for marine biology, particularly abyssal marine biology. Your job would literally be my dream job, or close to it and has been since I was a toddler. Giant squid footage was always a huge deal for me too, so your footage is pretty darn incredible to me.

So for the question, what are some things you'd suggest for me to be able to eventually work in your particular field? In as broad of a sense as you think. I dont know how feasible it is for me to succeed, but you definitely seem like the best person to ask for steps or suggestions.

WildBlueScience5 karma

You are already off to a great start if you're studying marine biology. A perfect next step would be to start thinking about pursuing a Masters degree in deep-sea biology. There are lots of deep-sea scientists out there looking for new students and so that could be you!

supremedalek9254 karma

What do you think the odds are of getting footage of a live colossal squid?

WildBlueScience6 karma

I'm pretty confident that we can do it. We are currently raising funds for an expedition to film one and if we hit our goals, I would say that I'm 90 % confident that we will be able to film one.

Azzazin814 karma

How do you feel about places like Sea World, that claim conservation efforts, but have shown cases of animal abuse? Do you think that what they do actually helps or is it just a ploy to make money?

WildBlueScience6 karma

I believe that zoos can play an important role in conservation. As a concept, however, I don't think animals should be kept in captivity.

sunlinebanjo4 karma

[deleted]

WildBlueScience6 karma

There are plenty. For example, I work with college-level students all around the world to help analyse video footage for me. In this way, these students gain valuable experience in marine biology while helping me uncover the mysteries of the ocean!

Krinkleneck4 karma

How many watts or lumens was the light you used underwater? And do you think you could get a better underwater image with a lot more lights that get activated?

WildBlueScience5 karma

We generally use less than 100 lumens. We could certainly get a better picture with more light but it's a balance. Too much light will scare away the animals and without enough light, the image quality is too low.

thesnapening4 karma

Will we ever see a sharktopus in the world? Also the video is icky, that’s my best description. Fantastic for helping the turtle dude but icky

WildBlueScience5 karma

Outside of the sci-fi channel, the skarktopus is probably just a dream... A great dream but only a dream.

Bad-Extreme4 karma

That turtle movement and kraken footage was amazing, I was totally mindblown when I saw those two videos. So here are my questions:

  1. How and why did you choose to become a marine biologist?

2.What is your favourite part of being a marine biologist?

3.What advice do you have for future aspiring marine biologists?

WildBlueScience4 karma

Thank you!

  1. I always loved animals and the ocean. As I kid I used to watch every marine documentary possible and then when I was old enough, I applied to study Marine Biology at University. The rest is history.
  2. I get to travel to some of the least explored part of the planet and see things that no one else has ever seen before!
  3. Volunteer! The best way to become an established marine biologist is to get involved in as many marine biology initiatives a possible!

Poobeard764 karma

Who do you think would win in a fight in a salt water swimming pool: One 20-foot-tall Donald Trump with a golf club vs 20 one-foot-long hammerhead sharks?

WildBlueScience8 karma

Even if Trump was 20-ft tall and armed with golf clubs, he would likely struggle even more with ramps. In addition, Trump has admitted to being petrified of sharks. So my money is on the shark.

nerklau3 karma

I just entered an Oceanography and Marine Sciences Uni, although classes haven't yet begun. What advice/tips can you give on a student like me? Also, I've had a question I was too ashamed to ask anyone else, can you specialize in ex. the Arctic Ocean and work exclusively there?

WildBlueScience6 karma

My advice is to continually ask your professors if there is anything else you can help out with to get more experience. Be persistent and make sure to follow though if they offer you anything. Having some extra experience on your CV will be a great way to make you stand out of the crowd when you are applying for Masters / Ph.D programs or jobs in marine biology!

You can definitely specialized in Arctic and work there exclusively but you will probably have to start out working somewhere a little less remote and keep building your profile until you finally have an opportunity to work in the poles!

swainmugwump3 karma

Have you ever had the George Costanza line "the sea was angry that day my friends.." said at you when you say you're a Marine Biologist?

WildBlueScience5 karma

All the time.

ZackyZY3 karma

Are you Jotaro?

WildBlueScience5 karma

I wish but I will never look as good as he does in hats.

AndrewG343 karma

Do you believe in the theory of deep-sea gigantism?

WildBlueScience5 karma

100 %. Not all deep-sea species are larger than their shallow-water counterparts but some definitely are. The giant squid is a great example of this!

mydeadface3 karma

Ever remove a golf ball from a whale's blowhole?

WildBlueScience7 karma

Ever remove a golf ball from a whale's blowhole?

Yes, but unlike George is didn't use my hands.

Gaurav-073 karma

How Big was the squid? Thank You!

WildBlueScience5 karma

We estimate that is was about 4 m / 12 ft long. As they can grow to over 14 m / 52 ft, this means this one was still a baby!

Kiuku3 karma

Did you learn R'lyehian language to speak with the Kraken ?

WildBlueScience8 karma

Of course.

"ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn"

jadmimpa1 karma

Would you set a trap to capture and study the Giant Squid?

WildBlueScience2 karma

We don't need traps to study giant squid. I would rather study them in the wild than to subjugate them to captivity!