Would anyone send a Valentine to these ugly creatures?
Of course! Their beloveds would! The wolf eel (left) mates for life (with another 8 ft. beauty.) That could be 25 years in the same rocky crevice. That’s a lot of Valentines.
Monkeyface eels (below), smaller but no less lovely, prove their love by fiercely guarding their nest of babies, after the female has deposited up to 45,000 eggs there. That’s a lot of love.
When Aquarium visitors see these two fish at the bottom of the Kelp Forest Exhibit, they often make fun of their ugly mugs.
It hurts their feelings.
Well, I don’t know if it does, but I spring to their defense. “There is no ugly in nature,” I insist. “I’m sure their mothers love them,” I say confidently. “They remind me of the two old guys in the balcony in the Muppet Show – just as adorable, don’t you think?”
I got the idea of featuring these animals this week in my weekly Blue Theology post because of Chinese Lunar New Year – it’s the Year of the Monkey. But actually the monkeyface eel looks as little like a monkey as its friend looks like a wolf. Someone gave them these names to make us scared of them or make fun of them.
Don’t! They are beloved children of God.
I like how The Message translates the part of the Genesis about the creation of fish (and birds, Day Five.)
God spoke: “Swarm, Ocean, with fish and all sea life!
Birds, fly through the sky over Earth!”
God created the huge whales,
all the swarm of life in the waters,
And every kind and species of flying birds.
God saw that it was good.
God blessed them: “Prosper! Reproduce! Fill Ocean!”
As long as we are quoting Scripture;
“You are altogether beautiful, my love; there is no flaw in you.” (Song of Solomon)
“I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works, O God; my soul knows it well.” (Psalm 139)
Send a Valentine this month to Creation’s beauties.
(A valentine to Chad King, NOAA, for more great photos.)