OCEAN SPECIAL: spectacular sea station, SOS sailors, microbes awakened, packed beaches and a blue lobster
Aug 12, 2020 Episode 07
In our special Ocean Episode hear the spectacular plans for an underground sea station, what woke up after being asleep at sea for a 100 million years, about lost sailors rescued from a tiny island, why Spanish beaches are surprisingly packed and the blue lobster found… at a Red Lobster restaurant!
LEELA: “Newsy Pooloozi!”
LEELA: Hello and welcome to our lucky seven episode of Newsy Pooloozi – which we’re nicknaming our Ocean Episode. I’m your host Leela Sivasankar Prickitt and this is my…
LEELA: No, no, no… My mama! And the big story explainer, of course.
MAMA: Hello, hello… And since we’re broadcasting from India…
LEELA AND MAMA TOGETHER: Namaste!
LEELA: This is our very special Ocean Episode of Newsy Pooloozi, because we’ll hear about the spectacular plans for an underground SEA STATION that’s as big as a house! We’ll also find out – what woke up after being asleep, at sea, for a 100 million years…
About lost sailors rescued from a teeny-tiny island… Why Spanish beaches are surprisingly packed…
And the blue lobster found at a Red Lobster restaurant! But first let’s hear a wrap of the biggest world news stories of the week.
LEELA: But first let’s hear a wrap of this week’s top news stories from all over the world.
WORLD WRAP STING – LEELA: “Hold on tight, it’s around the world in 80 seconds.”
MAMA: US Presidential candidate for the Democratic party, Joe Biden, has chosen Kamala Harris to be his running mate. She’s a California senator of Indian-Jamaican heritage, who became the first black person to serve as California’s attorney general – the top lawyer in America’s most populous state.
The capital of the Middle Eastern country, Lebanon, goes silent as people all over the city stop what they’re doing to honor the 200 people who died in an explosion last week. Though the exact reason the blast is still being investigated, the public are growing angry with their leaders.
After recently reopening, Disney World in Florida is about to shorten its hours of operation, as too many people are cancelling their trips, most likely because of safety concerns over the Coronavirus pandemic.
An 18-year-old software engineer, named Avi Gupta, is part of a team of volunteers who’ve designed a low-cost ventilator tool to help people breath, like when they’re sick with COVID-19. Gupta also just happens to be the Jeopardy! Teen champion.
And British 3-year-old became the youngest person to climb to the top of Piz Badile, a mountain on the border of Switzerland and Italy. Jackson Houlding climbed the 10,000-foot-high mountain along with his parents and seven-year-old sister.
LEELA: Whoo… Thanks for that fast flash around the world. And now it’s time to tackle the Big News Story of the Week.
MAMA: So, we’ve had a lot of space news on Newsy Pooloozi lately.
LEELA: Yeah, July’s been a busy month in the stars.
MAMA: I know, right? There’s been comets and asteroids.
LEELA: Rovers blasting off to Mars.
MAMA: And of course, the return of astronauts in a private SpaceX capsule coming back from the international space station.
LEELA: Called the Dragon Endeavor.
MAMA: That’s the one. Which befittingly came back down to earth in the sea….
SFX: Waves sound
MAMA: Which is what we’re going to do too. But here’s the question – if you can have a research station up in space, why not have an outpost in the other direction – the ocean?
LEELA: A sea station!
MAMA: Exactly. A sea stations! An underground capsule to live in and watch all the sea creatures and study the ocean.
LEELA: Live in? Like, for days?
MAMA: And days and days and days.
LEELA: Wait. That sounds a little… Uhhhhh… cramped and… scary.
MAMA: Cramped? Yeah, I hear ya. Like being in an elevator for days while watching sharks swim past you. But don’t worry. That’s the way they were. But not how they’re gonna be. Let me tell you a story about a man named Jacques Cousteau. He’s French, so let’s hear it properly.
SFX: Jacques Cousteau in French
MAMA: He’s dead now. But besides being one of the first wildlife or sea life documentary makers, and being, of course, a marine conservationist meaning he wanted to study and protect the ocean, he’s considered the father of scuba diving. Because almost 80 years ago he and a friend invented a breathing device that meant humans could explore parts of the ocean never seen before.
And his nautical curiosity didn’t stop there.
MAMA: Ohhh… Nautical is another word for ocean. Like marine.
LEELA: Got it. Uh huh.
MAMA: Well, scuba equipment is great, but it doesn’t mean you can be underwater that long, certainly not for days. And JC wanted to long under the water… So, he helped develop an underwater capsule that could receive a constant supply of air, about the size of a minivan, where he and another diver spent a week.
LEELA: A week!!! What do you eat stuck down there for a whole week?
MAMA: Yeah… about that… Not great food, certainly nothing fresh… Anyway, then they built a slightly bigger one where Cousteau spent a month…
LEELA: A month!!!!!
MAMA: Yeah…. Then the Germans built an even bigger one the size of a bus… But of course, it can be dangerous and it’s super expensive, and well, people kind of lost interest, became more interested in space exploration. But… JC has a grandson, Fabien, who, not surprisingly, learned how to scuba dive at 4 years old.
LEELA: Man, oh man
MAMA: Yeah… He grew up joining his granddad on a lot of those research expeditions. And he’s the one who wants to build a super big, super cool sea station!
LEELA: (Sings:) Dun, dun, dunun! Uh, sorry.
MAMA: Oh, I think it would be cool. Wouldn’t you want to wake up and see some big fish right at your window, but knowing it can’t come in? Or eat you!
LEELA: Because that doesn’t sound like fun to me!
MAMA: OK, ok…. But this new underwater habitat and research station will be 4,000 square feet, that’s as big as a large house, with room for people to live underwater for weeks possibly even months at a time. Best of all, there’ll be a special greenhouse so that aquanauts, as they’re called, can have fresh food.
LEELA: But… How, Mama? How can they do this?
MAMA: Well, there’ll be this line that pipes in breathable air and connect communication wires from the sea station to some sort of outpost on the surface of the water. But guess what the coolest thing is?
MAMA: The design is modular.
MAMA: Modular, you know, pods. Like they’ll make units or rooms that can clip onto the existing one to make it bigger.
LEELA: Like Legos!
MAMA: Kinda, yeah. Like when you make one Lego house and you decide to clip it onto another Lego house and, poof, you have a super house.
LEELA: Coooool. So, this thing can get bigger and bigger.
MAMA: That’s the idea. But only if…
LEELA: Oh, no. I hate ifs.
MAMA: If Fabian Cousteau raises enough money. But this isn’t just a cool beach toy. Turns out marine animals contain all sorts of amazing compounds that, if studied more, can be used to treat things from cancer to pain. Even sustainable food, never mind study the effects of climate change. So, there’s likely to be a lot of interest in building this thing.
LEELA: So, no underwater sea-hotel just yet?
MAMA: Ha! Didn’t think of that! Who knows! That could be one way to fund it.
LEELA: Yeah… I think I still prefer my hotels beach-side rather than deep at sea.
MAMA: Hmmmm…. Funny you should say that. That’s exactly what our next story is all about.
STING: Bell ring
MAMA: Yeah. Lots of people from the north of Europe where the sun doesn’t shine all the time love to spend their summers or holidays in the hot and sunny south of Europe. For instance, the Brits love to go to Spain.
LEELA: But not this summer!
MAMA: That’s right. Despite calls by Spanish officials insisting the coronavirus is under control, the UK has said anyone travelling to Spain will face a 14-day quarantine when they come back home. And that’s bad for Spain where up and down it’s miles and miles of coastland, big and small businesses rely on tourists for their livelihood their income or money to survive.
LEELA: So, the beaches are empty?
MAMA: Well, you would think so! But that’s not what we’re hearing from our Barcelona reporter, who’s headed to a beach in the northeastern corner of Spain.
NINA: This is Nina Granena coming to you from Llanca in Spain. Where even though COVID cases are going up every day…. the beaches are packed! That’s right guys… I have never seen the beach so full In all my 8 years of living. Are people being safe? Yes…. they are MOSTLY wearing masks. And yes…. people are MOSTLY keeping their distance.
SFX: WATER SPLASH
But that doesn’t mean we can’t have fun! I guess like my family…. who would normally be in Chicago for the summer…? a lot of people just stayed close to home. Looks like COVID is teaching us how to appreciate our own backyards.
This is Nina Granena for Newsy Pooloozi thank you
LEELA: Thanks Nina! I wish we were travelling around India at least.
MAMA: Yeah, things are a little different for us here, but hopefully it will be safe enough to travel soon. But Nina’s story does show that there are a feeeeeeew good things that have come out of this pandemic.
LEELA: Yeah, people are appreciating their own neighborhoods and countries a lot more. And that’s good! Now… For our next nautical story… I’ve got to get to the piano, because this one’s an……. adventure!!!
LEELA: Once upon a time, just a few days ago, three sailors got lost at sea in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. They come from a country called Micro-nesia, near Australia.
It’s made up of 607 large islands and thousands of teeny tiny islands, called atolls (pronounced like: at all).
A few days ago, they set sail on what should’ve been a short journey for them. But they accidentally sailed off course just a little, then a lot… On top of that… their small boat ran… out… of fuel!!
Finally, they ended up on a deserted island 118 miles (almost 200 kilometers) away!
Back home their families raised the alarm that they were missing.
And the search was on! One day turned to two, and then three. The sailors were running out of food and water. Their only hope was to be rescued. So, they dragged bunches of palm tree branches to the beach.
And made them spell out the international cry for help: S-O-S. American and Australian military in the area went on the look-out.
Just when a US Air Force helicopter was about to end its search and go home, rain clouds began to gather…So, it changed direction and what did the soldiers see then? A tiny atoll with the words… SOS on the beach!!!But the drama didn’t end there.
Because of the nasty old coronavirus these poor sailors couldn’t be scooped up and taken home!
The US soldiers dropped down a communication radio and told them they would be rescued soon.
Then Australian soldiers delivered food and water and made sure the men weren’t injured.
Finally, two days later, a ship from their own country arrived and they were taken home!
MAMA: (Laughs) Oh, what a story! Those islands in the Pacific Ocean sure are beautiful, but I’m not sure I’d want to be stuck on a deserted one!
LEELA: Me either… We’ve been stuck at home for five months, but at least we have food and water!
MAMA: Exactly! Now imagine being stuck in one place for a hundred million years!!
LEELA: Oh. I think I know what you’re talking about.
MAMA: Yep… It’s…
LEELA: Time for…
SCIENCE STING – LEELA: “The world of wow, wow, wow… In other words – science!”
LEELA: Move over Sleeping Beauty… microbes buried deeeeep in the Pacific Ocean wake up after a 100 million years buried under the ocean! First, I guess we should say what microbes are!
MAMA: Well, microbe is the nickname for microscopic organisms. And what’s microscopic mean?
LEELA: Teeny tiny! You need a microscope to see them.
MAMA: Exactly. It’s so small it’s only got one, single cell. How many cells do you think are in your body?
LEELA: A thousand?
LEELA: A million?
MAMA: More! Not a million, not a billion, but TRILLIONS! And that’s the biggest. So one single cell is…
MAMA: Now we all know that the earth is formed of layers. And the deeper the layer, the older it is.
So, scientists took a super-duper long drill into the South Pacific Ocean and drilled so deep they got to layers that are older than the T-Rex dinosaur!
MAMA: Now this place they drilled is a lifeless spot in the ocean with hardly any nutrients, or food, or oxygen. And what does that mean?
LEELA: Well, we can’t survive without oxygen!
MAMA: That’s right. But guess what? The scientist realized the samples from this lifeless spot contained oxygen. So, they guessed the microbes might not be lifeless…
LEELA: But sleeping!
MAMA: Exactly. So, the scientists woke them up!
LEELA: What! How?
MAMA: They fed them nutrients and they became active again.
LEELA: Oh, sweet, like… “Hello sweety-sweety, microbes, here darling, have some porridges. Eat up, wakey-wakey.”
MAMA: I’m not sure it was porridge. But you’ve got the idea. Almost all of the ancient microbes came back to life, or technically, became active again.
LEELA: Wow who knew single-cells could live so long!
MAMA: I know! Cool thing is, now we that we know how to get ancient microbes to grow again, we can learn more about our prehistoric world.
LEELA: Cool zees. But that’s not the only odd ocean story.
MAMA: There’s more?!
LEELA: Of course, there is… We wouldn’t say goodbye without…
STING: Step right up, step right up… Have to go at the lucky dip machine… What’s it gonna be today, eh?
And odd ball. No doubt!
LEELA: Of course, it is! Cause we have a story about a BLUE lobster found in a RED Lobster restaurant…
MAMA: That can’t be right…
LEELA: Oh, yes ma’am. That’s what our US reporter, Andy Tidwell says. Hey, Andy – what’s cook ’n?
ANDY: Surprise, surprise lobsters are on the menu at Red Lobster! It’s not to everyone’s taste, but right when you walk in the seafood chain, you’ll see a big tank full of live red lobsters.
So, a blue lobster would definitely stand out! Which is what happened in the US state of Ohio when a worker noticed this odd ball with its blue-green back and claws. Luckily instead of cooking the lobster for someone’s dinner, the restaurant contacted the local zoo.
Guess what they discovered? The chances of catching a blue lobster are super rare one in 200-million!
That’s like trying to find a grain of rice in sand-pit the size of a one-car garage! So, the restaurant offered up its rarest take-out order yet donating the odd ball lobster to the zoo.
Because of the pandemic, it might be a while before the general public can see it though. But don’t worry, American lobsters have been known to live up to 100 years! So, you have some time.
Reporting from xxx, this is Andrew Tidwell for Newsy Pooloozi!
LEELA: Thanks Andy. I’m glad to know there’s time, because I’m not going anywhere anytime soon…
MAMA: And I’m glad to know you didn’t eat the blue lobster for dinner!
LEELA: Very funny… Hey, Mama… Why didn’t the lobster want to share?
LEELA: Because she was shellfish!
MAMA: Very funny!
LEELA: And do you know who brings presents to lobsters?
LEELA: Santa Clause!
MAMA: Oh, you’re a funny girl, aren’t ya?
LEELA: Oh, yes, I am.
LEELA: And that brings us to the end of special Ocean episode of Newsy Pooloozi!!!!! If you enjoyed this dip…. in the whirlpool of news and information… then do subscribe to our podcast, and while you’re at it… Give us a good rating. Or better still, leave us a review – on: Apple Podcast, Spotify, Pandora or wherever you get your podcasts. And if you want to get in touch, drop an email to… firstname.lastname@example.org See you next week in the Newsy Pooloozi!