World Encounters

Szabina Tamara Da Cunha Carvalho

When watching Werner Herzog’s documentary Encounters at the End of the World, I really enjoyed the scenes where scuba divers were swimming under the ice. They recorded life in the sea, something that is rarely seen and that humans don’t have much information about. The scenes were dark—not much light gets under the thick cover of ice—but even so, they were fascinating, and this scene just adds to the mysteriousness of sea life. It was interesting to see how different species easily exist even under conditions that would never allow humans, the most advanced creatures on Earth, to settle on that part of the globe. I found the recordings extremely scary, yet very inviting. It looked as if we had stepped into another dimension, untouched and intact, sealed from us. It is also funny to think about how these stupid-looking shells just chill in the mud as we rush to catch our bus in the morning or struggle over things that don’t make any sense, like the physics chapter exam. Now I understand somewhat better why people commit to the exploration of marine life. However, no matter how much we know about animals and the plant-life of oceans, it will always be a small portion compared to what it still holds in itself, especially in such a cold place, where discoveries are hardly possible due to the harsh conditions. We might know more about the outer world, outer space, than we know about parts of our own globe. This is why I think it is at least as intriguing to see a jellyfish float under the ice, living its best life, as to see a blurry video of Mars: they both give us a little insight, a “sneak-peek,” into a world that we will never fully understand.