Kelp Forest | Nature Boom Time


[TICKING][CLOCK ALARM][FIREWORKS].♪ ♪ CHARLIE: WHAT’S UP GUYS? MY NAME IS CHARLIE,
THAT’S PATRICK, KIRBY’S FILMING RIGHT NOW AND
TODAY WE’RE IN CALIFORNIA, IN MONTEREY, TO CHECK
OUT AN UNDERWATER FOREST. WHILE EXPLORING THE U.S.
WE’VE VISITED SOME OF THE COOLEST FORESTS IN
THE ENTIRE COUNTRY, BUT WE WERE IN THE MOOD FOR
SOMETHING REALLY DIFFERENT. SO WE CAME HERE, TO MONTEREY
TO CHECK OUT THE KELP FORESTS, AND OUR FRIENDS ALEX AND
SABINE SHOWED US SOME OF THEIR FAVORITE SPOTS. MONTEREY BAY HARBORS SOME
OF THE RICHEST AQUATIC ENVIRONMENTS ON THE ENTIRE
WEST COAST AND SOME OF THE COOLEST KELP FORESTS YOU’VE
EVER SEEN IN YOUR ENTIRE LIFE, SO WE HAD TO CHECK THEM OUT. THE WATER WAS INSANELY
COLD, SO WE WET-SUITED UP, KIRB AND I THREW ON
SOME SCUBA TANKS, PAT WENT FREE DIVING BECAUSE
HE’S A BOSS AND CAN HOLD HIS BREATH FOR, LIKE, 45
MINUTES, AND WITH CAMERAS IN HAND WE SUBMERGED
INTO THE FOREST CANOPY. ♪ ♪ SWIMMING THROUGH THE
KELP WAS ONE OF THE COOLEST THINGS
WE’VE EVER DONE. WE WERE WEAVING THROUGH
THE ENORMOUS KELP COLUMNS, LIGHT WAS SHINING
THROUGH THE CANOPY, THE SEA FLOOR WAS
TEEMING WITH LIFE. ALL DIFFERENT SORTS OF
THINGS WE’VE NEVER SEEN BEFORE. IT WAS REALLY INCREDIBLE,
THERE WAS NO WAY WE COULD HAVE SEEN ALL OF THIS STUFF
FROM OUT OF THE WATER. HERE’S WHAT WE
FOUND WHILE DIVING. KELP FOREST ARE AWESOME. THEY’RE LIKE SUPER COOL
UNDERWATER FORESTS AND, TO A FEW BIO NERDS, WHAT COULD
POSSIBLY BE COOLER THAN THAT? WELL, THE HONEST ANSWER
IS PROBABLY NOTHING. SO OBVIOUSLY HE HAD AN
INCREDIBLE TIME DOWN THERE AND WE FOUND OUT THAT KELP
ARE SUPER COOL ORGANISMS TOO. I MEAN FOR ONE THING THEY’RE
ONE OF THE FASTEST GROWING ORGANISMS IN THE ENTIRE WORLD. THEY CAN GROW UP TO 2 FEET
IN A SINGLE DAY, SUPER QUICK. THINK ABOUT THAT THIS WAY, IT TOOK PATRICK 17
YEARS TO GROW 6 FEET. KELP GROW MUCH MORE
QUICKLY SO TO GROW 6 FEET, IT’D TAKE A PIECE OF
KELP MONDAY, TUESDAY, AND MAYBE A BIT OF WEDNESDAY. THE CRAZY THING IS, THESE
SPEED GROWERS AREN’T EVEN A KIND OF PLANT. THEY’RE ACTUALLY A
KIND OF BROWN ALGAE. ONE OF THE MAIN DIFFERENCES
BETWEEN ALGAE AND PLANTS IS THAT ALGAE DO NOT
HAVE VASCULAR SYSTEMS. PLANTS HAVE ALL SORTS OF
INTERNAL TUBES THAT ALLOW THEM TO SOAK UP
NUTRIENTS THROUGH THEIR ROOTS. BUT ALGAE DO NOT. IN ALGAE, EVERY SINGLE CELL
ABSORBS ITS OWN NUTRIENTS. ALRIGHT SO RIGHT OFF THE
BAT, KELP ARE NOT PLANTS. BUT EVEN SO, KELP IN KELP
FORESTS ARE REALLY SIMILAR TO TREES IN NORMAL FORESTS. FOR ONE THING, BOTH KELP
AND TREES OBTAIN ENERGY THROUGH ABSORBING SUNLIGHT. ROOTS HOLD TREES IN PLACE AND
HOLDFASTS KEEP KELP IN PLACE, FASTENING THEM TO
ROCK TYPE THINGS. TREES HAVE TRUNKS. KELP HAVE SIMILAR
STRUCTURES NAMED STIPES. TREES, HAVE LEAVES,
AND KELP HAVE BLADES, PRETTY LEAF-ISH AND
PHYSICALLY SIMILAR. NORMAL FORESTS CHANGE
FROM SEASON TO SEASON, AND KELP FORESTS DO TOO, IN PRETTY MUCH THE
SAME EXACT WAY. IN FALL, ONE BY ONE, ALL THE
BLADES FALL OFF THE KELP, IN WINTER EVERYTHING’S
PRETTY MUCH DEAD BECAUSE STORMS ROLL IN, AND THEN
THINGS COME BACK TO LIFE IN THE SPRING, SO PRETTY
MUCH LIKE A NORMAL FOREST. ALRIGHT, WE GOT IT, SO
THEY’RE SIMILAR TO FORESTS! AND THEY’RE NOT TOO
BAD LOOKING EITHER. I’VE NEVER HAD AN EXPERIENCE
THAT LITERALLY TOOK MY BREATH AWAY, BUT
THE FIRST TIME I ROLLED OVER WHILE UNDERWATER,
AND LOOKED UP AT THIS KELP, I LITERALLY GASPED
AND COULDN’T BREATHE. IT WAS THE MOST BEAUTIFUL
THING I’VE EVER SEEN IN MY ENTIRE LIFE. BUT THEN I MEAN, I
STARTED BREATHING AGAIN, BECAUSE IF I DIDN’T MY
LUNGS WOULD’VE EXPLODED. BECAUSE THAT’S KINDA
HOW SCUBA DIVING WORKS. SO THERE ARE MANY DIFFERENT
KINDS OF KELP IN MONTEREY BUT WE FOUND OUT THAT
THERE ARE TWO MAIN KINDS, THERE’S GIANT KELP
AND THEN BULL KELP. IF YOU NEED SOMETHING
MORE SPECIFIC, YOU GOTTA CHECK OUT
THE PNEUMATOCYSTS. PNEUMATOCYSTS ARE LIKE
LITTLE KELP WATER WINGS. THEY’RE TINY BLADDERS OF
AIR THAT KEEP KELP AFLOAT. BULL KELP AND GIANT
KELP HAVE DIFFERENT KINDS OF PNEUMATOCYSTS. BULL KELP HAVE ONE GIANT
ONE AT THE TOP THAT KEEP THINGS AFLOAT LIKE A
BIG HOT AIR BALLOON AND GIANT KELP HAVE SMALLER ONES
ATTACHED TO EACH INDIVIDUAL BLADE THAT TOGETHER
KEEP THE KELP AFLOAT. ONE PNEUMATOCYST, BULL KELP… MANY PNEUMATOCYSTS,
GIANT KELP. PNEUMATOCYSTS ALLOW KELP GROW
UPWARDS TOWARD THE SURFACE. THIS GIVES THEM A DISTINCT
CANOPY AND UNDERSTORY FEEL. SO, EVEN THOUGH WE
WERE UNDER WATER, IT FELT LIKE WE WERE
IN AN ACTUAL FOREST, MEANDERING OUR WAY
THROUGH ENORMOUS TREES. BUT IT FELT MORE LIKE WE
WERE FLYING THROUGH A FOREST, SINCE WE COULD GO UP AND DOWN,
AND CHECK OUT EVERY AREA OF THIS UNDERWATER ECOSYSTEM. JUST LIKE A NORMAL FOREST,
THE CANOPY AND UNDERSTORY EACH SUPPORT THEIR OWN
UNIQUE MICROENVIRONMENTS. WE RAN INTO SO MANY
DIFFERENT THINGS DOWN THERE, LIKE TINY FISH, TINIER
FISH, EVEN TINIER FISH, A GROUP OF CURIOUS SEALS
THAT SWAM RIGHT UP NEXT US, THERE WERE CRABS,
BARNACLES, STARFISH, TONS OF GIANT SLUGGY THINGS,
THIS CRAZY UNDERWATER MINI DR. SEUSS TREE, AND THESE
AWESOME HUNGRY CORMORANTS THAT SWAM AROUND US FOR
A SUPER LONG TIME. IT WAS REALLY INCREDIBLE
TO EXPERIENCE, BUT THE TRICKY THING IS,
SOMETIMES THE KELP FORESTS START SUPPORTING THINGS
THAT THEY DON’T REALLY WANT TO BE THERE. SPECIFICALLY,
PURPLE SEA URCHINS. PURPLE SEA URCHINS
ARE THE WORST. THERE’S NO OTHER
WAY TO SAY IT. I MEAN, THEY’RE POKEY
AND UGLY AND ON TOP OF THAT THEY ABSOLUTELY
WREAK KELP FORESTS. SEA URCHINS COLLECT
IN HERDS UNDERWATER. YES, HERDS, LIKE
HERDS OF CATTLE, BUT THEY’RE TINY TENNIS BALL
SIZED SPIKY SEA MONSTER HERDS. THEY MOVE AROUND IN THESE
HERDS AND GRAZE ON KELP. LIKE COWS ON GRASS. AND UNFORTUNATELY, THEY
GRAZE A LITTLE TOO MUCH, AND DECIMATE THESE FORESTS AT
A RATE OF 30 FEET PER MONTH. WHICH IS PRETTY QUICK FOR
THESE TINY LITTLE SEA COWS. OUR BIGGEST ADVOCATE IN THE
FIGHT AGAINST SEA URCHINS AND THE PROTECTION
OF KELP FORESTS? SEA OTTERS. SEA OTTERS PREY ON URCHINS,
THEY EAT ‘EM UP FOR BREAKFAST, AND ARE GENERALLY ADORABLE. THEY DO THEIR BEST TO
DEMOLISH, DESTROY, DEVOUR, AND ACCORDING TO PATRICK,
BODY SLAM SEA URCHINS, WHICH HELPS ENSURE THAT KELP
STICK AROUND FOR SOME TIME. SO KELP FORESTS,
SIMILAR TO TREES, BUT STILL AREN’T PLANTS,
HAVE PNEUMATOCYSTS, ARE DEPENDENT ON
SEA OTTERS, AND ARE SERIOUSLY FUN
TO SWIM THROUGH.[FIREWORKS].

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