Why are we as humans so attracted to water and to colourful reefs? Indeed, why are reefs so dazzling? How did cleaning station symbiosis evolve? How come there are so many extraordinary defence mechanisms among reef animals? Do the denizens of reefs have consciousness? How did warning colouration evolve? In what ways do fundamental mathematical rules manifest in coral reefs? For answers to these questions and many more, take a dive into Reflections Underwater.
Coral reefs are one of the world's great natural wonders: endlessly surprising and mesmerizing kaleidoscopic fractals of colour and life. But they are also under serious threat from the effects of climate change and development. Reflections Underwater is a unique, illuminating book that explores a dazzling variety of topics and concepts relating to coral reefs. Adopting a holistic, multidisciplinary perspective that weaves together scientific and humanistic ideas, including psychology, evolution, zoology, philosophy, mathematics, art, physics, and more, this book offers a compelling angle on these remarkable and fragile habitats. Meticulously researched and elegantly argued, it is illustrated throughout with exquisite photographs gleaned from the author's many marine adventures.
For more than a quarter of a century, Oded Degany has been an avid diver and underwater photographer, documenting his encounters with the creatures that make up coral reefs. He has a multi-disciplinary background which includes a BA in physics, an MA in biological thought, an MBA, and a partial doctorate in anthropology and religious studies.
"You don't have to be a diving enthusiast to enjoy the book in front of you, but there is a chance that when you finish reading it, you will sign up for such a course. Coral reefs are areas with the greatest diversity of animals on Earth. The author writes about them from an acquaintance acquired by years of diving and photographing coral reefs backed by reading professional literature, and the result is fascinating."
– Sara Schwartz, Phd, The 'Biological Thought' program for advanced studies, Department of Natural Sciences, The Open University of Israel
"This is a book that you should read if you want to be amazed anew at the richness of the coral reef, to discover new ways to think of it, to see it as you probably have never seen it before [...] this book's ability to describe the science underlying the reef in a humanistic way is refreshing and intriguing."
– Prof. David Fortus, Phd, Weizmann Institute of Science
"Whether you are an expert in some field of marine science, a well-traveled and experienced diver who knows a lot about this environment, or a "newbie" interested in the underwater world, I am sure this book introduced you to some new and fascinating ideas and phenomena."
– Tom Shlesinger, PhD, Marine Ecologist, Florida Institute of Technology
"Truly original books about coral reefs are rare. Oded Degany's Reflections Underwater has produced a valuable and fresh addition to the literature covering this incredible ecosystem. The book both educates the reader and encourages you to engage with the subject matter, both classic paradigms and original thinking. The engaging text is lavishly illustrated with the authors colourful images of reef habitats and species. A valuable contribution and a must have for any coral reef enthusiast."
– Dr. Alex Mustard
"This book takes the reader on an exceptional journey. Being personal and intuitive, yet detailed and scientifically sound, it allows one to dwell deep into a topic and the science behind it, yet stay connected and inspired by the complexity and wonders of coral reefs."
– Prof. Nadav Shashar, Marine Biologist and Coral Reefs restorer, Ben Gurion University of the Negev