In summertime heat, our minds drift to the ocean—and, this week, we’re bringing you stories about exploration, danger, and discovery on the high seas. In “The Squid Hunter,” David Grann sets sail with the marine biologist who will brave any storm to sight a living giant squid; in “Secrets of the Deep,” John Colapinto investigates the dispute over a vast sunken treasure that may be the largest ever found. The long-distance swimmer Lynne Cox describes swimming the Northwest Passage in “A Dip in the Cold,” and, in “The Crossing,” Alec Wilkinson meets an eccentric adventurer determined to undertake a trans-Pacific voyage on a homemade raft. Elizabeth Kolbert explains what it will take to save the world’s coral reefs in “Unnatural Selection,” and, in “Her Deepness,” from 1989, Wallace White profiles Sylvia Earle, the intrepid marine botanist and deep-sea diver who—after living in an underwater laboratory and visiting the ocean floor in an experimental diving suit—became the first woman to hold the position of chief scientist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. We hope that you enjoy these voyages beneath the waves.
“The Squid Hunter”
“The giant squid has consumed the imaginations of many oceanographers. How could something so big and powerful remain unseen for so long—or be less understood than dinosaurs, which died out millions of years ago?” Read more.
“A Dip in the Cold”
“I wanted to swim portions of the Northwest Passage, travelling from Greenland to Alaska, using Roald Amundsen’s account of his journey as a guide.” Read more.
“Poppa Neutrino planned to sail across the Pacific by himself, something that had been accomplished on a raft only once, by William Willis, in 1964, when Willis was seventy-one years old.” Read more.
“Over the years, Sylvia Earle has become well known not only for the quality of her thinking and her dedication to the environment but also for her drive and energy and astonishing toughness.” Read more.
“What if the qualities that made some corals hardier than others could be identified? Perhaps this information could be used to produce tougher varieties. Humans might, in this way, design reefs capable of withstanding human influence.” Read more.
“Secrets of the Deep”
“As more submerged artifacts become accessible, countries have begun to challenge the ‘finders keepers’ concept that has traditionally governed salvage operations.” Read more.