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海底驚現巨大水母對人類的啟示

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Surprised by a giant jellyfish

海底驚現巨大水母對人類的啟示
Nothing underscores the otherworldliness of the sea quite like the jellyfish. Balletic in its strange clench-and-flex propulsion through water, a jellyfish's alien parachute appears impervious to the laws of motion as it flits and glides. One can only imagine how dislocating it must have been for a pair of divers off the coast of Cornwall in the UK this week to turn suddenly from examining slippery fronds of kelp to find themselves floating face-to-face with a ginormous tentacled sea medusa.
沒有什么比水母更能體現海洋的奇幻和魔力。水母在海水中的推進奇特而怪異,一張一合,仿佛在跳著芭蕾舞,詭奇的傘狀體似乎不受制于力學定律,在水中輕盈地飛掠和滑動。最近,英國康沃爾海岸的兩名潛水員在滑溜溜的海帶中穿行時,突然在漂浮中發現自己正與這樣一只張牙舞爪的海中美杜莎撞個正著。
The two divers, Dan Abbott and Lizzie Daly, were filming a series of aquatic experiences for a social-media fundraising project, Wild Ocean Week, when the unexpected encounter occurred. A photo (taken by Abbott) of Daly swimming alongside the outsized jellyfish quickly went viral. What's so striking about the image isn't only the scale of the sea creature, but the collision of worlds that the photo poignantly captures. The clash of textures between the fully wet-suited and snorkel-sucking Daly, rubber masked and artificially finned, and the fragile beauty and effortless grace of the diaphanous sea beast, accentuates how near yet distant our existence is from those with whom we share our world.
這兩名潛水員,阿博特(Dan Abbott)和戴利(Lizzie Daly),當時正在為一個名為“野生海洋周”(Wild Ocean Week)的社交媒體眾籌項目拍攝一系列照片,捕捉海洋里的浮光幻影,就在這時,意外的“邂逅”發生了。這張照片拍攝到了戴利和超大水母共游的瞬間,隨即在網上走紅而瘋傳。驚人之處不僅在于這只水母的巨型體格,還在于照片神奇地捕捉到了兩個世界的碰撞。戴利身著全套潛水服,嘴里含著呼吸管,頭戴橡膠面具,腳蹬人工鰭。水母則呈現出一種脆弱的美麗,通體透明,姿態輕松優雅。兩個物種質地上的沖突彰顯出人類與我們共享同一地球的生物是多么的接近,同時又是多么的疏遠。

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Still, even in the strangest of shapes and those furthest removed from our own experience, we are capable of glimpsing a semblance of ourselves. "A jellyfish, if you watch it long enough," the writer Ali Benjamin memorably opens her children's novel The Thing About Jellyfish, "begins to look like a heart beating... It's their pulse, the way they contract swiftly, then release. Like a ghost heart – a heart you can see right through, right into some other world where everything you ever lost has gone to hide." Ingenious shapeshifters (some are known to morph in order to fool predators), jellyfish are like living lava lamps or fluttering Rorschach tests; the way we perceive their almost amorphousness says more about who we are than what they are. They're the abstract art of the ocean.

然而,即使是這種形狀最怪異、最陌生的生物,我們也能夠在驚鴻一瞥中照見我們人類自己的影子。“水母,如果你看的時間夠長,”作家艾莉·本杰明(Ali Benjamin)在她的兒童小說《水母的那些事》(the Thing About Jellyfish)的開篇中寫道,“它開始看起來像一顆跳動的心臟……它們的脈搏,迅速收縮,然后釋放。就像一顆幽靈般的心——一顆你可以看穿的心,一顆你可以追隨著到達一個彼岸世界的心,而在這個世界你所失落的一切都隱匿于此。水母是一種巧妙的變形者(有些變形是為了愚弄捕食者),有時像生命涌動的火山熔巖之燈,有時又像漂浮的水墨畫。我們對水母模糊的認知,更好地說明了我們自己是誰,而不是水母它們是什么。水母是屬于海洋世界的抽象藝術。
Abbott's photo, which draws us into its mystery, recalls the power of a late painting by J M W Turner, Sunrise with Sea Monsters. Unknown to scholars until half a century after Turner's death in 1851, when it was discovered by chance in the basement of London's National Gallery in 1906, the large oil-on-canvas pulsates with the same pink golds and luminous peachiness vibrating from the jumbo jellyfish that Daly and Abbot encountered.
阿博特拍攝的這幅照片將我們帶入神奇秘境,使人們聯想到英國19世紀風景畫家威廉·特納晚期的畫作《日出與海怪》(Sunrise with Sea Monsters)。特納生前這幅作品不為學者所知,他1851年去世,半個世紀后的1906年,人們才在倫敦國家美術館的地庫偶然發現了他這幅作品。
Anticipating non-figurative art of the ensuing century, Turner's unfinished painting dares observers to be certain of what, exactly, it is they think they see, struggling to take form amid so much muscular light. Critics remain divided over whether the turbulent dawn depicted by the artist is alive with mythic dragons, with workaday fish, or with anything other than sloshing waves designed to churn up the imagination. Or perhaps, like the jellyfish itself, Turner's painting is a pulsing mirror in which we perceive who and how we are as we squidge across the universe: joyous or scared, lost or found, imperilled or free.
特納這幅未完成的畫作預測到了下一個世紀出現的非具象藝術,此畫挑戰觀賞者去表達自我的視覺認識,確切地說,是要讓觀畫者在畫作強烈的光線中盡力去發現他們自認為是某個生物的東西。這位藝術家筆下黎明時分波濤洶涌大海中的生物到底是是神話中的龍、普通的魚?還是只為了激起觀畫者天馬行空想象的波浪之外的任何東西?至今評論家們仍然意見不一。或許,就像水母本身一樣,特納的畫作就像一面跳動的鏡子,讓我們在大千世界蹣跚前行時可以用來照視自己,讓我們感知自己是誰,感知自己是如何的生存:是快樂還是憂心忡忡?是自我迷失還是自我已尋回?是身處危難之中還是身心均自由?

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contract ['kɔntrækt,kən'trækt]

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n. 合同,契約,婚約,合約
v. 訂合同,縮

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impervious [im'pə:viəs]

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adj. 不能滲透的,不為所動的

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scale [skeil]

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n. 鱗,刻度,衡量,數值范圍
v. 依比例決

 
perceive [pə'si:v]

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vt. 察覺,感覺,認知,理解

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universe ['ju:nivə:s]

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n. 宇宙,萬物,世界

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abstract ['æbstrækt]

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n. 摘要,抽象的東西
adj. 抽象的,理論

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release [ri'li:s]

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n. 釋放,讓渡,發行
vt. 釋放,讓與,準

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unexpected ['ʌnik'spektid]

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adj. 想不到的,意外的

 
basement ['beismənt]

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n. 根基,地下室
n.(新英格蘭)特別

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capable ['keipəbl]

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adj. 有能力的,足以勝任的,有 ... 傾向的

 
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