Steve's Herpetological Blog

An insight into the life of Steve, his research and the many books he reads


#StevesLibrary: Blowfish’s Oceanopedia

If there is one thing I like about a book when I pick it up, it is that I can’t put it down unless I pass out or something comes up that necessitates the need for me to put the book down. Blowfish’s Oceanopedia is one of these books, admittedly it took me a little longer than usual to start thanks to the crazy world we find ourselves in, but when I did I was hooked! I spent a large portion of my childhood wandering around the muddy beaches of south Essex (where I grew up), wondering what creatures lived in the Thames Estuary. I know everyone has this view that the Thames is a pretty dirty place but you’d be surprised what lives there despite the shipping. It’s got everything from dogfish to seahorses and everything in between, so next time you find yourself on the coast why not dig a little deeper and see what you can uncover?

Back to Blowfish’s Oceanopedia, sorry for getting distracted there! The format of the book is a little unorthodox but I like it. You have separate chapters dedicated to a different realm of the oceanic environment such as the foreshore or the deep ocean. In each of these, Tom ‘Blowfish’ Hird takes us through a number of animals (each with their own subsection within the chapter) and blows our mind with information about those animals. The claim on the front of the book is a a tad misleading if like me, you grew up near the coast or have a degree in zoology. However, some of the facts were new to me and it’s always good to refresh your memory with things as it is easy to forget facts about species that you’re no longer in contact with on a daily basis.

If you’ve got a fascination for the ocean and you’ve unfortunately never had the time to really visit a beach, get down on your hands and knees and sift through the sand/mud like I have – then this book is for you. If you live on the coast and you’ve never thought twice about what lives beneath the waves and only explore the beach when walking the dog, this book is also for you. Be sure to check it out and learn more about the wonders beneath the waves as I’m more than aware that the ocean is usually out of sight and out of mind for most of us.

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