In the coast of Australia, the brown algae form veritable forests where animal and vegetable life flourishes 20 times more than in the warm waters of tropical seas.
The brown algae form veritable forests (kelp forest), stretching up from the bottom in search of the light at the surface. The transparent, rough waters allow the sun to penetrate sufficiently to work the miracle on which life is based: photosynthesis. Up there, the seals and sea lions feel so safe from the sharks that they are about to establish their breeding colonies.
The process begins at the end of the Antarctic winter. The hours of sunlight become longer and longer, until there are 24 hours of sunlight a day. And, in the warmth, the gigantic, solid blocks of ice slowly melt.
Then, the surface of the water warms up, generating the movement of currents which stir up the cold water below, bringing it and its minerals to the surface. This cold current, rich in nutrients, flows to the coast of Australia, a gift from the South Pole. This regenerating force has an immediate effect, which can be seen with the naked eye.
They are vast stretches of brown algae running hundreds of miles along the coast.
Here, animal and vegetable life flourishes, first in the form of microscopic algae, and later the zooplankton that feed on them.
Like veritable jungles, the algae provides shelter to millions of creatures hoping to remain unnoticed among the dense vegetation. Kelp forests like this one contain so many different species that the variety of wildlife can be up to 20 times greater than in the warm waters of tropical seas.
The brown algae is fixed onto the substratum by means of a strong claw-like grip, the only function of which is to serve as an anchor against the strength of the storms and currents. They do not absorb anything, nor are they in any other way similar to the roots of more developed plants.
These provide an incredibly strong hold, a firm base for the rest of the plant, whose biological obligation is to float and reach up to the light at the surface.
The herbivore fish like these graze just as on any meadow by a forest. They form the next layer up in the food pyramid, turning the seaweed into meat. Their chromatic pattern is the same as that of the zebras, the most distinctive thing in this ecosystem of discreet beings, browns, ochres and cloudy waters.