I have often wondered: if humanity finally enacts that ultimate global catastrophe that we always seem to be on the verge of, be it nuclear or environmental or otherwise, what would it be like for all the creatures who have no notion of us or our lives? Would their whole world just end one day, and they would have no idea why? Could they be wiped from existence without even the benefit of understanding the events that brought them to that moment? How unfair would that be?
But maybe I was wrong. Maybe WE are the ones whose world could suddenly end because of forces we know nothing of. Maybe there are things going on that we are oblivious to, powers struggling for dominance right here on earth without our knowledge.
Maybe…just maybe…Aquaman is the most important member of the Justice League after all.
It sounds crazy, I know. But there are things happening in this world that give me pause, that make me wonder if humanity is really the top dog on this planet.
Consider, for example, the simple fact that while most forms of oceanic life are suffering due to human-induced factors like pollution and global warming, Cephalopods populations are booming. (That’s octopi and squid, for those of you who weren’t sure.) Somehow, despite all the over-fishing, despite all the crap we dump in the oceans, these creatures are thriving.
(photo from NOAA)
Is it a simple statistical fluke, a high point in these creatures natural boom-bust cycle? Or is it something more sinister? Could these clever animals be under the influence of an intelligence…from beyond our world?
(I’m talking about Cthulhu here people. Try to keep up.)
Seriously, if an ill-intentioned elder god from R’lyeh wanted followers from our world, why would he settle for a bunch of deranged cultists when his tentacley cousins already roam the oceans, existing largely under the radar of most other species?
The question we need to be asking ourselves is, “Is this guy plotting our doom?”
But maybe my landist bias is showing already. After all, who’s to say that the cephalopod menace has really gone unnoticed? There are some wise old guardians of our world who watch the seas for just such a threat, ready to protect us ignorant land-dwellers.
That’s right. I’m talking about the fish.
No, no, don’t scoff! Not all fish are stupid and short lived, like the ones you had in your bedroom aquarium as a kid. Some fish are seriously ancient.
I know what you’re thinking. “But Koi are FRESHWATER fish. As ancient and wise as they may be, how could they possibly protect us from the cephalopod menace?” Your point is well taken, imaginary reader. But remember, there are other fish in the sea.
And more than just fish. Consider the lobster. Lobsters don’t die of old age. No, it’s true: they just get bigger and bigger as they get older, and descend deeper into the oceans. We have documented lobsters that are up to 70 years old, but we can only guess at what might lurk in the depths beyond the range of our lobster pots.
Could these ancient crustaceans be natural enemies of the dreaded cephalopods? Perhaps. But are they warriors for life, or are they the servants of some other, as yet unknown force that hungers for the death of us all?
What I am getting at here is that there are things lurking in the depths that we neither know nor understand. In our arrogance, we assume that we are the greatest threat to our world. But maybe…just maybe…we are wrong.
Think about it.
(Just FYI, the thing about rising cephalopod populations, the longevity of Koi, and the uncertainty of just how old lobsters can get are all 100% true. I made up the thing about forces from beyond our world. Probably.)