14 September 2009

Stressed? Watch A Whale Shark.

Yeah I know, you hate Mondays. I'm not too fond of them either. The thought of getting out of bed after a weekend of wild debauchery and/or lazy relaxation never fails to stress me out when that alarm inevitably goes off. Here's something that should help you through the day though. Feast your eyes on this:

Ahhhhhh. Breathe in slowly through your nose, out through your mouth. Replay the video as necessary.

Numerous studies suggest that watching fish swim around in an aquarium will actually lower blood pressure and stress levels, which is the reason why so many doctors' and dentists' offices have them in their waiting rooms. It seems weird that simply observing fish in their natural habitat temporarily distracts you from the fact that you're about to have a shiny diamond-tipped drill spinning around and making holes in your pearly whites ... but it does.

The Kuroshio Sea Tank is the main attraction of the Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium in Japan. "Massive" would be the correct term for this thing. Spectators stare wide-eyed through the world's second-largest acrylic glass panel, measuring 8.2 m (26.9 ft) by 22.5 m (73.8 ft), with a thickness of 60 cm (23.6 in). To say that's some strong glass is an understatement; the tank holds almost two million gallons of water! That's the equivalent of about three Olympic-size pools. Of the eighty species of fish living in the tank, the biggest ones are the whale sharks -- and they're Pretty Damn Large, eating a quarter ton of food a week and growing up to 40 feet long.

But as proven with the video, watching giant creatures bigger than you float serenely around is a strange exercise in serenity.

As long as you stay on your side of the glass and they stay on theirs ...

Happy Monday.

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