"Just" Another Day in Monterey Bay

DSC_0954 I live near one of the world's most extraordinary ecosystems. On Sunday morning I was on the beach photographing 5000 pound elephant seals and by lunch time I was heading out on a dive boat to explore the underwater pinnacles that surround Monterey.

Elephant seals really are stunning animals. Yes, they look big and goofy, but they can dive to 7000 feet, outrun most humans on land, and swim thousands of miles per year. Even more extraordinary is their ability to control their body. When diving they can shut off their internal organs and reduce their heart rate to 1-2 beats per minute. This allows them to dive for up to 2 hours at a time and makes them effectively invisible to predators such as sharks that hunt by sensing electrical impulses.