Turning Research Science into Poetry

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Richard Aronson’s important research on crab populations moving into Antarctic waters inspires a poet

It’s gratifying enough to get your research published in a major journal, but how about when you work is turned into actual poetry? Richard Aronson recently published his findings about king crabs moving toward pristine, Antarctic waters where organisms have not seen a predator for millions of years in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. It appears that warming oceans may eventually make the Antarctic more hospitable for these deadly crustaceans.

Inspired by Aronson’s sobering research, Samuel Illingswoth, a lecturer in Science Communication at Manchester Metropolitan University, wrote a poem on his blog  The Poetry of Science called The Sea Life is Never the Same.

We think it’s quite good and its message profound.

The Sea Life is Never the Same

Antarctic sea shelves are diverse,

With worms and seastars worth acclaim;

Conditions are not too adverse,

The sea life is never the same.

 

But as temperatures start to rise,

The cold barrier becomes lame;

From the slopes new creatures arise,

The sea life is never the same.

 

Below nought point four degrees C,

The King Crab will die from cold pain;

But with warming waves it is free,

The sea life is never the same.

 

And if they got on to the shelves,

They would look for new lands to reign

And new subjects for their royal selves;

The sea life is never the same.

 

Once there they would unleash their hell

They’d kill and they’d butcher and maim,

All creatures with a weakened shell;

The sea life is never the same.

 

For seastars and worms cannot cope

With royalty who wish to reclaim

The lands up the way from their slope,

The sea life is never the same.

 

Their soft skeletons are too weak

Now all they can do is exclaim:

“Our outlook is getting quite bleak,

The sea life is never the same.”

 

 

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