Becoming Sediment

Always be prepared. I often think that excessive worrying will help me in the case of an actual emergency. Last night after a fun last night out on the town (I blame the gelato), I tried on my survival suit.

This magnificant piece of engineering will help me in the event that I will be somehow submerged all by my lonesome in the ocean without the JOIDES to protect me. And as I donned the gumby outfit, I pondered what it would be like to be floating there in darkness (because when you imagine dying in a shipwreck, it has to be at night, under the stars, with some sort of love story associated like the Titanic... but I digress) and thinking about what would become of my body. Would I be eaten by sharks, lured by my bright red neoprene safety-suit? Would I perish before donning such device, fallen overboard in an attempt to take the most awesome of pictures? 

I at least know what will NOT become of me. I will likely NOT become a part of the sediment record at the bottom of the ocean. We have looked at actual cores today and some data from these cores and they contain no wonderfully preserved mammalian fossils. They contain thousands and millions of tiny shells and skeletons of microscopic Earthlings, with names like radiolarian, diatoms, formanifera and calciferous algae.  The tiny calcium carbonate or silicate material generated through their tiny lives lived millions of years ago can be preserved quite well on the ocean floor, even under high pressure from the water and sediments above. However, my body would likely be eaten by fish or birds first, then decomposed by anaerobic microorganisms at the bottom that gobble up whale, fish, seal and other carcassess from the ocean floor. Surely not as glamorous.

Now if I could only secrete a substance that would encase me with a silicate Thunderdome-like structure, I would make a fabulous fossil. I guess I should just focus on not falling overboard...

Comments

You have a talent for

You have a talent for capturing interest and slipping in the science! I am still envisioning myself out in the deep sea under the stars as the JR floats away...:-)

CCD

I even learned more - that basically I may not be completely eaten by other living things but just dissolved by the ocean chemistry in general. A victim of le Chatlier's principle, not unlike a cockroach dissolved in aqua regia.