Puffer Fish

Anne - Burlington, Vermont
Entered on October 16, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: nature

It would be hard to imagine that the smallest creature in this world could inspire you. Hard working people go through the motions in their life without every noticing what is important, or maybe just not taking the chance to look at anything close enough to realize that it contained life. Coming to Vermont, you can even meet people here who do not look at the details or look at them so closely that they are distracted, and cannot see the bigger picture. I believe I have found a medium.

Going into senior year of high school, I was just starting to realize that I wasn’t good enough with numbers to go into business or bored enough to do research. I wanted to be outside to find what sparked my imagination. In assembly one day, my biology teacher made an announcement that he was taking a select few abroad to Bermuda, to study at the Bermuda Biological School for Research, for the summer and I decided to go.

When I walked to class the first night, I can remember being excided, I wanted to learn about what was around me instead of what was “out there”, and I wanted to be “out there”. I went for runs every morning past a beach we cleaned up as a part of our community service hours; I remember it being the most beautiful place on earth. Nevertheless, it could have been circumstantial, because in that beach, I experienced the reason for why I am interested in helping the environment.

One of the labs that we went on that year was snorkeling in the dark. My feelings were a mix between terror and excitement. The terror started to fade as the teacher began showing us the affects of bioluminescence. The farther out we swam, the more we saw. I recall my lab partner’s flashlight hover over something quickly and then immediately go back. The fish seemed quite small at first but when the flashlight went back, the fish almost instantly exploded. It was a puffer fish. I had the experience of seeing a puffer fish undergo its natural expression of becoming frightened.

My train of thought on the way back to camp was so strong that I started to think about other people and how they would never be able to experience the act of a puffer fish expand. I realized what I had learned in Bermuda. The coral reef’s bleaching was going to ruin this fish’s home; while most people would never get to experience the opportunity first hand, future generations would not even be able to study what I had encountered.

I am confident that Bermuda’s beautiful coral reefs, home to millions of fish, could be saved if congressmen and senators worked harder. I believe that humans could change the face of the earth to save the natural beauty.