#2. Forests Complete With a Logging Industry
Some underwater kelp forests are so tall and dense that they resemble tree cover. These kelp forests exist all over the world and host a vast array of life. They can grow at depths up to 150 feet and still reach the surface. This giant kelp can grow up to two feet in a day, which would be the most terrifying thing in the world if it happened on land.
Timothy G. Laman, National Geographic
Just imagine these guys wrapping around your ankles and sucking you down into the depths.
But kelp forests are still just underwater plants doing what underwater plants do. What would be really cool is if there were a normal forest that was underwater. But that could never happen because trees need oxygen, and therefore can't grow underwater.
Not pictured: Fish chaining themselves to tree trunks.
But, sometimes when hydroelectric dams are built, entire forests are plunged underwater. That robot, named Sawfish, has been made to harvest cedar, pine, spruce and Douglas fir from water 200 feet deep. It's an unmanned submarine that is controlled remotely from the surface. It attaches airbags to the trunk of the tree, chainsaws it and then releases the trunk so it can float to the surface. Before you say "Look at the cute little robot cutting saplings," know that those are full-size trees and that robot is pretty damn big.
And it thinks you look a lot like a fir tree.
There are a few birds that decided flying up and snatching their prey out of the air was too easy, and began dining on fish and other aquatic creatures. Take the gannet, for example. When it sees a tasty fish in the water below, it's all "What water?" turns itself into a ballistic missile and dives after that fish:
Hauke Steinberg, Trek Nature
But you knew that. You've seen birds dive into the ocean before, at which point you assume that they bob back to the surface, shake the water off their feathers and get back to flying. They're not spiders after all, right?
Wrong. Well, right about the spider part, but after that you were wrong. Stupid.
See, the gannet has a couple adaptations that allow it to dive from heights up to 100 feet: It has bubble-wrap-like air sacs in its chest that allow it to survive impacts that bridge jumpers count on being the quick and easy way out, and it has no external nostrils. You might think that's a weird feature for a bird to need, but that's because you never dropped a cool buck fifty on nostril pincher things that swimmers use. Gannets can be found 72 feet under the surface of the ocean, swimming with their wings and feet and confusing the hell out of some sharks.
Jason Heller/Barcroft Media, Telegraph
That's one confused shark.
Then there's the dipper, which gets its name for the way it sticks its head into shallow water and scans for prey. Aw, just like a duck or a goose! And then it "dips" the rest of its top half into the water and starts swimming around for a couple of minutes like it ain't no thang. Nothing dramatic. One second, it's flying through the air, the next it's bobbing around on the surface, then it spots something and plunges in and swims by flapping its wings like it is flying again, but this time underwater.
Seeing them in action makes you almost want to accuse them of cheating at evolution. Y'know, if that didn't sound retarded.
National Geographic, via YouTube
Who did you blow, huh dipper?
You can find more from Kier at makeshiftcoma.blogspot.com
For more insane finds, check out 6 Insane Discoveries That Science Can't Explain and 6 Mind-Blowing Discoveries Made Using Google Earth.