Doodles: Creatures I Met in the Sargassum

Every summer when I was younger, my family and I drove down to Key Largo for a week of snorkeling. I was too young too really appreciate it. I spent most of the time sitting on the inner tube tied to our boat, shrieking every time I saw anything that resembled a shark. My sister, in contrast, was into marine biology and critters of any kind. She loved the trip.

Sometimes my sister would join me on the inner tube. When she did, she would scoop up clumps of sargassum- a type of seaweed- as they drifted past. She would shake them gently and little fishes, seahorses, and crabs would fall onto the tube. Seriously little. Sometimes you had to squint to see them. The sargassum provided them with a habitat where they could grow, safely camouflaged in the red-yellow tendrils. After watching them for a few minutes, we would nudge the animals back into the sargassum and set it back in the water.

The other day at the beach, the surf was full of sargassum, and the sargassum was full of life. All I had to do was watch, quiet and still, and some creature would reveal itself to me- a little splash, the flick of a fin, the flash of sun on scales would betray its camouflage.

It took a lot of self-control for me to resist scooping the fish up, just for the satisfaction of holding them. What it it about humans that makes us want to have?

Instead, I captured them in a different way. I sketched them that night, to the best of my memory, and then I gave them dumb names because I thought it was funny. And you thought this was gonna be a deep post.

World peace and love,



  1. You still do your blog!!! I decided to check in, its been a while! Good stuff!

    1. Thanks! I've been working a lot on it this summer.

  2. Cucumber fish looks like a planarian, ask Mr. Chiarella about them!

    1. That's what I thought when I saw it! It didn't move quite like the ones that we had in his class, but Wikipedia says that flatworms can live in sargassum so maybe that's what it was.


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