Ocean Clocks

Ocean Clocks

To the life on land, the sun is the biggest ticking clock. But in a place where sunlight is almost impenetrable such as the marine environment, it is funny how the young kids ask if the fishes really sleep or if it would it even close its eyes. These curious questions may sound funny but somehow, it is an opportunity for the adults to think twice and start digging into marine books.

Body clock or what is known to science as Circadian rhythm is now a common knowledge not just in the world of science but to the society as a whole. The time when one goes up to bed, have a meal and sleep again is a daily routine that one follows almost every day. Even to earth’s wildlife, they follow the same pattern which directs the great migration such as birds before they travel far and long across the globe. However, no matter how we try to understand the nature of this world, the more unfathomable it becomes as it reveals more of what science is still trying to understand.

The limitation of man to breathe and live underwater is what hinders us from exploring more of its deep abyss. Apart from being in deep darkness, lurking creatures that come in different sizes and shapes add more suspense to every exploration in the deep below. But just like us who have a ticking time clock, it is surprising to learn that such clock is also what the ocean life follows. This is what we know to be the Lunar Clock. While circadian rhythm is what makes the land turn each living creature moving, the Lunar Clock and tidal cycles are equally important as circadian rhythms in the ocean life.

The Circadian and Circatidal clocks are known to exist few billion years ago and been studied by humans to observe how these cycles turn each life around. But until 1980, the discovery of the first circadian clock gene cloned in a fruit fly become a huge breakthrough of science that keeps the eyes of later scientists to focus on circadian rhythm living the Circatidal and Lunar clock almost forgotten.