The Plankton Pundit

One of the many reasons that I find plankton to be so delightful is the sheer joy of seeing something so beautiful and alien pop out of an ordinary seawater sample. I mean, I _know_ the sea is filled with plankton but I’m still excited every time!

Starfish larva. Photo by Richard Kirby, used with permission.
Starfish larva. Photo by Richard Kirby, used with permission.

That’s why I’ve been such a fan of Dr. Richard Kirby’s plankton photography for many years. His stunning plankton photos relay that feeling of excitement and discovery, the combination of “OMGWTFBBQ” and “woooooow.”

Spiny lobster larva
Spiny lobster larva. By Dr. Richard Kirby, used with permission.

So I am so pleased that Dr. Kirby’s book Ocean Drifters (which came out in 2011, and is awesome) is now also on iTunes. To go along with his snazzy new release, he has a video of his plankton photos narrated by none other than Sir David Attenborough.

Ocean Drifters from Plymouth University on Vimeo.

And I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Dr. Kirby’s Christmas card…made of plankton. Oh yes. It’s especially hilarious if you know what some of the creatures are, like the “sea angel” pteropods. There’s a key here.


You can see more of Dr. Kirby’s photos at this Daily Mail article  or by following him on Twitter.