in StemSocial3 months ago


One hundred million years ago, the province of British Columbia did not exist. Instead, the ocean lapped upon the shores of the province next door, Alberta. Then as the continental shelf slipped, broke, and crashed upon the oceanic crust, the landscape was thrust upwards, downwards, sideways, folded, melted in volcanic heat, crystalized, rising, and tumbled down the throes of geologic activity that saw the creation of majestic valleys, deep canyons, jagged cliffs, floodplains, and the many natural wonders that this province is known for.

Watching the rolling waves, the mountains, the countless rivers and lakes, one sees a peaceful idyllic world. As if time has stood still. Geologically speaking, however, this land has been a conveyor belt of activity, ground and pressured by different forces above and below the earth.

Deep in the ocean, fissures bubbled and steamed as molten rock (magma) flowed to the surface where it cooled and became part of the oceanic crust. Pulled apart by convection currents, the ocean floor was pushed against the continental plates, forming structures that were as magnificent as they were unstable.


Broken by mountain ranges that split the province into different climactic zones, we see a world of jagged peaks that were once smooth. When the Juan de Fuca plate and the Explorers plate collided, the continental crust warmed up, and the Coastal mountains rose from the titanic collision and the intense volcanic activity that ensued.

In the Pleistocene era, the age of glaciers altered the landscape creating rivers, floodplains, waterfalls, canyons, and sharpening the once smooth terrain. A layer of 2-kilometer thick ice covered the region, then melted as the ice age came to an end 10-12 thousand years ago, reshaping the landscape as it retreated.


Beneath the ocean of this tumultuous land, life stirs with rich complexity. Along the shore, in the region between the high and low tides, lies the intertidal zone, where life thrives thanks to the nutrients and light available. More than 600 species of seaweed can be found along the coast, 34 of which can only be found in the waters of BC.


In the high tide region of the intertidal zone, one can find the sturdy denizens of the ocean. Algal blooms. Multicellular marine forests that rival the beauty of any forest on land. Although smaller in size than their landlocked counterparts, marine plants have adapted to the awesome tidal forces that advance and retreat.



Ah, the good ole small acorn barnacle. Many a knee has been scraped on them. Let me close this post with a little fact about them. The acorn barnacle is hermaphroditic. It has a penis that is 20 times longer than its body, so they cluster together to be able to fertilize those within reach. Each one holds up to 10,000 eggs, which it spurts into the ocean, so the cycle of life continues along the rugged shoreline of the Pacific Northwest.



Cannings R, Cannings S. British Columbia: A Natural History. Vancouver: Greystone Books; 2004. 352 p.

Images by @litguru


Wait... barnacles have penises? 🤣🤣🤣 Oh my I have heard it all... I'm not sure why but I never actually considered what a barnacle was... it was always just that stupidly uncomfortable thing that you didn't want to end up walking over or... ahem... scraping a body part over! What an interesting post, Lit... Quite spectacular all the varieties of seaweed to be found... your photos always draw me into your world... 💗 !LUV !ALIVE !PIZZA

Heh! Barnacles may be little, but they're tough and apparently quite the lovers. I wasn't aware of their anatomical prowess, so I have newfound respect for them 😄

I'm happy you enjoyed the underwater world, @samsmith1971. Thank you for dropping by!

@litguru! You Are Alive so I just staked 0.1 $ALIVE to your account on behalf of @samsmith1971. (7/10)

The tip has been paid for by the We Are Alive Tribe through the earnings on, feel free to swing by our daily chat any time you want.

Thank you for the photographic, geological and marine tour. The kind of thing I look at briefly on my desktop. When I'm ready to go to sleep tonight, I take my time, read slowly, and linger over the pictures.

I once reviewed a book that featured photos from an area near the Salish Sea, which I believe is in your neck of the woods. The photographer/author uses an electron microscope to look at stuff like a grain of pollen. I have a copy of the book because he sent it to me, after I wrote the review. Really nice guy.

The book: On An Acre Shy of Eternity/ Micro Landscapes at the Edge.

I wish I could show it to you. You'd love it. Maybe it's in your library.😇

Awesome! I just learned a new fact today:


In all the years that I've been living here I've never heard of the ocean called the Salish sea. I've heard of it, but I thought it was somewhere out there in them misty islands. I never realized I actually live on its shores. Everyone refers to it as the Pacific ocean or just the ocean, even scientists and news casters.

Is this some kind of elaborate prank?

If it weren't for this article, I would say it is: Where on Earth Is the Salish Sea?

Most Washington and B.C. Residents Don’t Know They Live Alongside the Salish Sea...
The study reveals that only 5 percent of people in Washington and 14 percent of British Columbians can identify the Salish Sea — the marine ecosystem that spans the United States-Canada border and includes both Seattle and Vancouver.

I'm gonna be the hit of the parties.

Thank you @agmoore! 😄

I'm gonna be the hit of the parties.

I somehow have never imagined this as one of your life goals 😅

I somehow have never imagined this as one of your life goals 😅

What can I say? I'm a man full of mystery. 🥂 🎉

It is really stunning to imagine the sheer magnitude of the amount of environmental changes that had to happen to result in what I am seeing the beautiful photos in this post. Nature is wild and beautiful

Geologic changes occur very slowly from our perspective, so we have to use our imagination to see those changes as they happen over millions of years. It's a fun exercise!

Thank you for visiting @gotgame!

A great way to tell a geological story. Lovely photos too.

Thanks for sharing.


Thank you @thecuriousfool! Very happy you enjoyed it!

How did you get those wonderful underwater shots? Exceptional ! 🤗❤️☕️☕️☕️
I was hoping you’d write a story for us in The Ink Well, the prompt is “roll”. I’d love to see what you would do with it???

How did you get those wonderful underwater shots? Exceptional!

I have a camera that works underwater, so I just took a dive to see what I could find.

I was hoping you’d write a story for us in The Ink Well, the prompt is “roll”

Great prompt, perfect for photography, hipster hijinks, or cinnamon rolls 😄 I'll have to wait until the next one though when I get back into story-telling mode. ☕️

Thank you @itsostylish!

That’s great, that you took a dive. Dedicated to the craft. Haha.
Cinnamon rolls are fun, they’re a worthy prompt. You make my heart ache with extreme sorrow

You make my heart ache with extreme sorrow


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Thanks for these nice pictures. They go very nicely with the submarine story you depicted in this blog (and that I didn't know). I now just want to go there, under the sea, and enjoy seeing and discovering the marvels you shared with us!


Thank you @lemouth! BC is a beautiful province with a lot of natural wonders. Perfect if you like the outdoors.

I agree! My last trip to BC is now quite old (I think the last time I went to Vancouver was about 15 years ago), but I remember having enjoyed it a lot. I should pass by again, when I will have time (I have a good friend living now in Seattle, which is next door; that should be a sufficient motivation ;) ).


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