A Quintessential World Experience
This week, nine residents of The World experienced a hugely entertaining and enlightening adventure with a behind-the-scenes tour of the largest aquarium in Europe, Oceanogràfic in Valencia, Spain.
The magnificent home of Oceanografic
The building, part of the futuristic City of Arts and Sciences, is architecture as a high art form. The public displays, featuring a mind-boggling variety of marine creatures, are simply mesmerizing. However, the privilege of meeting and learning from the dedicated scientists and staff of the Aquarium and its related Oceanogràfic Foundation — and seeing their work firsthand — was a perspective-altering treat.
Sara the Shark with Sara The World’s Program Manager above the huge display tank
Many research breakthroughs have their origin here. These scientists were the first to learn that sea turtles rescued from trawler nets often suffer from the bends — just as humans do if they ascend from sea depths too rapidly — and die several days later if released directly back to the sea. They can recover only by careful treatment in a specially designed hyperbaric chamber and intensive rehabilitation.
A CT scan of a sea turtle with “the bends” after having been released from a trawler’s net
Topping off our incredible experience was one sea turtle who had been successfully treated for the bends. She was ready for release and we were going to participate in it. One couple decided to underwrite this turtle’s rehab, and in return be able to name the turtle and to track her as she returns to the sea and assumes her “second life.” And so we watched as this magnificent creature, now dubbed “The World,” ran back to her natural habitat and swam away.
Watching Sea Turtle “The World” as she returns to the sea
Amazingly, she first swam to the very place where our ship The World was docked, as if to say thank you, and to see her namesake, before setting off for her new adventure. The website below allows you to follow her on her journey.
To track Sea Turtle (S/T) “The World” visit: https://argos-system.cls.fr/argos-cwi2/login.html
User Name: Dolly
As is apparent, we nine came away in wonderment of this facility, its scientists, its creatures, and its work. When in Valencia, this is a must-do. More information on the Foundation is available at the site listed below. We encourage everyone to learn more, and, if possible, support this work…”adopt” a turtle and name it after someone you love…or support the ocean cleanup or school programs…or sponsor a dolphin…the possibilities are endless.
We thank The World for making this truly memorable day possible. It’s one more to add to a very long list of reasons why we are grateful every day to be residents of this community.
To learn more about Foundation Oceanogràfic and its work, visit: www.oceanografic.org