Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 29.djvu/684

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
666
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

baster. ... If an immense city of ruined alabaster palaces can be imagined, of every variety of shape and tint, and composed of huge piles of buildings grouped together, with long lanes or streets winding irregularly through them, some faint idea may be formed of the beauty and grandeur of the spectacle."

Dredging and trawling in the Antarctic Ocean have not been extensive. The Challenger Expedition penetrated to 66° south latitude, and dredged and sounded frequently. The temperature of the surface-water ranged from 29·5° to 34·5°, while at 200 fathoms it varied from 30° to 35·5°. Wherever the dredge or trawl was used, quantities of stones, rounded and polished, of basalt and other rocks, were brought to the surface, dropped to the sea-bottom, presumably by icebergs. Life is not abundant, but what exists seems related to that of the northern ocean. Ross, in 1840, dredged in 1,620 feet in latitude 73°, and found several forms of life, of which he says: "It was interesting among these creatures to recognize several that I had been in the habit of taking in equally high northern latitudes; and, although contrary to the general belief of naturalists" (quite modified in the past ten years, however), "I have no doubt that, from however great a depth we may be able to bring up the mud and stones of the bed of the ocean, we shall find them teeming with animal life; the extreme pressure at the greatest depths does not appear to affect these creatures. Hitherto we have not been able to determine this point beyond a thousand fathoms, but from that depth several shell-fish have been brought up with the mud" (volume i, page 202).


Rule Segment - Span - 40px.svg Rule Segment - Span - 40px.svg Rule Segment - Flare Left - 12px.svg Rule Segment - Span - 5px.svg Rule Segment - Circle - 6px.svg Rule Segment - Span - 5px.svg Rule Segment - Flare Right - 12px.svg Rule Segment - Span - 40px.svg Rule Segment - Span - 40px.svg


SOME ECONOMICS OF NATURE.

By Dr. ANDREW WILSON.

AMONG the views of living Nature, and indeed of the inorganic universe as well, which receive tacit acceptance and sanction from ordinary thinkers, there are certain phases deemed incontrovertible in their plain, every-day demonstration. Before our eyes, for instance, we see Madre Natura spending her wherewithal in apparent thriftlessness and woful waste. The proverb, "Waste not, want not," so thoroughly and repeatedly dinned into youthful ears, would seem to have no application to the works and ways of the prodigal All-mother that surrounds and encompasses us. The flower that "blooms unseen and wastes its sweetness on the desert air" is a very mild illustration of a nature-spirit which appeals in more forcible ways to the mind as an example of needless contrivance, wasted effort, and useless prodigality. We fly to Tennyson for that apt quotation concerning the fifty seeds produced, and whereof only one comes to the full fruition of its race. Every summer day shows us how true apparently the