Watson and the Shark, by John Singleton Copley, 1778. National Gallery of Art, Washington DC.
Volume VI, Number 3 | summer 2013
“Were it possible that the sea could be drained of its waters and emptied by some extraordinary accident, what incredible numbers, what infinite variety of uncommon and amazing sea monsters would exhibit themselves to our view, which are now entirely unknown!” wrote Reverend Erich Pontoppidan in his Natural History of Norway, published in 1753. Ninety-five percent of the ocean remains unseen by humankind, and it is believed that up to sixty-five percent of its plant and animal life has not yet been undiscovered.
The winds and the waves are always on the side of the ablest navigators.—Edward Gibbon, 1788