If someone listened in on the conversation in the Deep Sea News underwater lair, they might conclude that we were a bunch of scatological mind-in-the-gutter sex fiends in need of serious Freudian analysis. They would not be wrong. Never have six people over legal drinking age so enjoyed “That’s what she said” jokes. All of us have what I termed “a little appropriateness problem,” or what an onlooker might term, “a total lack of moral fiber.”
When we’re blogging, we like to let our ids run free. Searching for “sex” on Deep Sea News leads you to flatworm sex, krill sex, sex at hydrothermal vents, sea squirt sex, Sex Week, barnacle sex, and Nicholas Cage’s inaccurate views on fish sex – and that’s just the first page of results. We also have a fine assortment of posts on poo/poop, fuck, and of course, awesomesauce.
When reflecting on why such fine upstanding ocean scientists as ourselves (replete with Very Serious Credentials and Very Serious Careers) were drawn to such lowbrow fare, we realized that one of our Deep Sea News core values is Reverently Irreverent:
We will be true to who we are in real life, leveraging humor to keep the science dialogue informal and accessible.
In other words, our irreverence – our delight in the naughty and funny bits of the ocean – springs from our reverence for the ocean’s endless mystery and glory. We love the ocean, and the ocean is filled with sex, poop, and awesomesauce. Coral spawning is even more marvelous for being a big-ass orgy! The ocean’s ability to absorb carbon from the atmosphere is made even more special because it is controlled by billions of teeny creatures pooping! And of course, there really is no way to get across the glory of the giant squid without squealing like a schoolgirl about awesomesauce. I promise you, when I see something especially cool when out in the field, I do not say “Ah, yes, there you see the largest salp in the world, how interesting.” I say “FUCKING FUCK THAT IS A MOTHERFUCKING HUGE SALP!!!! HOLY SHIT WE CAUGHT THETYS VAGINA* GUYS!!!!” followed by a bit of dancing around the deck.
There’s a more serious reason for our focus on humor, too. Nobody can stand being preached at about Dire Environmental Perils for very long (I certainly hate it myself). By adding humor to serious issues – which we’ve done on everything from the Gulf of Mexico oil spill to Congressional politics to sustainable seafood – we try to make these genuinely difficult issues less crushingly depressing, and hopefully more actionable.
In other words, our irreverence makes hard issues easier to grasp. Which is, after all, what she said.
*Yes, that is its real scientific name. Other scientists have mastered reverent irreverence too!