Pet wall of Expedition 402

Ahoy there, landlubbers and salty sea dogs alike! Let me spin you a yarn about a peculiar treasure found aboard the vessels that brave the briny deep – the wondrous world of sailor’s pet pics!

Picture this: you’re on a ship, surrounded by nothing but the endless expanse of the ocean. It’s just you, your shipmates, and a bunch of sediment ready to be analyzed. But wait! What’s that on the wall? It’s not a map of buried treasure or a portrait of a fearsome pirate. No, it’s something far more precious – it’s a photograph of a sailor’s furry first mate!

You see, sailors and scientists alike have a soft spot for their four-legged friends back on land. And what better way to keep their spirits high during long voyages than by surrounding themselves with reminders of home? So, they plaster their cabins with pictures of their pets – from loyal Labradors to frisky felines– each one a precious piece of their heart left behind on shore. Instead of keeping these treasures locked up in individual rooms, we decided to dedicate a public wall for all to enjoy the uplifting benefits of “Critter Comfort Care”.

But these pet pics aren’t just for show – oh no! They’re an essential part of life at sea. Need a morale boost after a rough day battling the waves? Just take a gander at some cat’s cheeky grin, or the head tilt of a dog and all your troubles will melt away faster than ice cream on a hot deck.

Perhaps the best part of all is the camaraderie that pet pics inspire among sailors. Swap stories about your furry friends, share tips on pet training (hint: treats or belly rubs are always the answer), and bond over the universal truth that pets are the best thing since sliced bread – or, in the case of sailors, since rum.  We’ve already shared many laughs over our wild pet stories!

In addition to wild pet stories, Tessa went around to some of the scientists and asked them what science they their pet would be interested in. Here is what she learned.

Dakota (The Queen) would follow a path in toxicology because she is mischievous and pays attention to the little things. Toxicology is the science that aims to understand the effects, and interactions harmful substances can have on the environment and living things.

Dakota, the rabbit, out for a walk.


Bruno: After getting tired of his kibble, he has gotten a taste for pairing foods with each other.Thus Bruno would go into the food sciences to determine the best food combinations for his newly refined palate. The food sciences are a mixture of different fields but it is the applied science of making different food products. For instance, it is involved with determining shelf life or safety of different food products.

Bruno wearing his cool sweater.

Banjo: Though sometimes it seems he has no thoughts in his brain, it is understood that because of his love for snow he would study Glaciology.Glaciology is an earth science that is paired with other fields to understand the impact and development of ice/glaciers in our world.

The good boy Banjo enjoying the outside.

Moxie: Judgmental of all things not true, it is believed that Moxie would be a mathematician. They would appreciate the absolute truths that come with numbers and theory of the universe, but nothing else.  Mathematicians aim to solve real world problems and compare old principles to newer principles. They tend to concerned with numbers, data, structures, space and more.

Moxie enjoying a field of flowers

All in all, the next time you find yourself aboard a ship, keep an eye out for those precious pet pics adorning the walls. They may just be scraps of paper to some, but to sailors, they’re a lifeline to the fur babies they left behind on dry land. So, let’s raise a toast to the furry, feathery, and scaly companions who keep our spirits afloat even in the roughest seas. Here’s to pet therapy- or should we say, “Tail Wagging Treatment”- because sometimes, all you need is a paw-sitive reminder of home to make even the stormiest voyage feel like smooth sailing!

Written by Larkin Bohn and Tessa Peixoto

Tessa Peixoto
Science enthusiast dedicated to making science more accessible to the public. She has worked in numerous informal educational spaces and believes that everyone does want to learn about their world but just needs help believing in themselves.
More articles by: Tessa Peixoto

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