The Bottom of the Sea

Although its tone was described as “almost sensational” in its own time, L. Sonrel’s The Bottom of the Sea (translated by Elihu Rich, 1875) nevertheless captures the wonder people had and still have for the sea. As Sonrel states:

“The surface of the sea is less varied than that of the dry land; but look deep into its bosom, and no region of the earth could give so vivid an idea of the exuberance of life. Forms the most unexpected, a fecundity the most marvellous, challenge our admiration at every step we take through these wonderful regions. Here, to all appearance, is a plant, a miniature tree growing upon a rock; its branches are verdureless, but, strange to say, flowers of the most brilliant colours spring from their extremities. The petals have the power of motion, and by this motion they cause a miniature current to flow unceasingly towards them. Unhappy are the animalculae who may be drawn into this perpetually renewed stream, for i t flows into the mouths of the zoantharia, or animal-flower to which they serve for food!”

-Janaya

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