Fangs a lot: Deep wonders through teen eyes

8-Park, Eva

Student-art competition the Science Without Borders Challenge set the theme “Hidden Wonders of the Deep” for 2024 and drew imaginative entries that went literally to the oceans’ greatest depths.

The annual competition is run by the US-based non-profit Khaled bin Sultan Living Oceans Foundation and the latest inspired 1,700+ school students from 82 countries, said to be more than ever before. The artwork is judged in two age categories, 11-14 and 15-19.

There were plenty of fangs on display, as befits depictions of life in the hadal zone, though in fact there were none in the senior winner’s artwork, which showcased the rarely seen oarfish. Eva Park, 17, from Studio City, California topped the 15-19 age group with her Worlds Emerging.

Worlds Emerging (Eva Park)
Worlds Emerging (Eva Park)

“Winning this competition means a lot to me,” she said. “It’s inspired me to keep pursuing my passion for marine science and get involved with more conservation efforts.” Park hopes to become a marine biologist. 

Under The Sea (Nadia Cho)
Under The Sea (Nadia Cho)

Second place went to Nadia Cho from Las Vegas, Nevada for Under the Sea, focusing on the intricate ecosystem around hydrothermal vents and showcasing tubeworms’ symbiotic relationship with chemosynthetic bacteria. 

Fangs again: Look Into The Light (Jiayi Xu)
Look Into The Light (Jiayi Xu)

Jiayi (Jenny) Xu from Fort Lee, New Jersey, claimed third place with her painting Look Into The Light, a glimpse of the lives of an anglerfish and its prey in the abyssopelagic zone, incorporating elements of bioluminescence and newly discovered species.

Younger artists

Wonders Of The Twilight Zone (Claire Kim)
Wonders Of The Twilight Zone (Claire Kim)
11-14 category winner Claire Kim
11-14 category winner Claire Kim

In the 11-14 category, 12-year-old Canadian Claire Kim’s Wonders Of The Twilight Zone captured the deep sea as “a magical world full of vibrant colours and enchanting creatures, challenging common perceptions” and took first place, said the foundation. 

Don’t Follow The Light (Cheong Wong)
Don’t Follow The Light (Cheong Wong)

Cheong Wong from China, 11, took second place for Don’t Follow The Light, portraying an anglerfish using its glowing lure to capture prey. Third place went to Felicia Fang, 14 and also from China, for Praying, which illustrated a variety of deep-sea creatures feasting on a whalefall.

Praying (Felicia Fang)
Praying (Felicia Fang)

Each of the winners will receive scholarships of up to US $500 from the Khaled bin Sultan Living Oceans Foundation to help them pursue their interests in art and ocean conservation.

Because of what was said to be the particularly high standard of entries this year, the judges added an extra category. This meant that “Honourable Mentions” were given to Chloe Jeong, 14, from the USA for her portrayal of a submersible pilot in Discovering The Undiscovered; Zoe Cheng, 17, from Taiwan for Glowing Allure From The Deep, and Sarah Peng, 16, from Canada for her work Nature’s Wonderland about bioluminescent creatures.

Discovering The Undiscovered (Chloe Jeong)
Discovering The Undiscovered (Chloe Jeong)
Glowing Allure From The Deep (Zoe Cheng)
Glowing Allure From The Deep (Zoe Cheng)
Nature’s Wonderland (Sarah Peng)
Nature’s Wonderland (Sarah Peng)

“These young artists have not only demonstrated exceptional talent but also a deep understanding of the importance of conserving the diversity of life in the ocean,” said Amy Heemsoth, the foundation’s chief operating officer and director of education. 

“Their artwork serves as a powerful reminder of our responsibility to protect and conserve our oceans for future generations.” 

Category winners receive scholarships of US $500 for first place, $350 for second and $200 for third. Students and teachers interested in entering next year’s competition can learn more and apply here. Find out more about the Khaled bin Sultan Living Oceans Foundation here.

Also on Divernet: Students visualise the Sixth Extinction, Picture this: The ridge-to-reef connection, Scientists report from coral-crisis frontline

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@dekkerlundquist5938
#ASKMARK Hello Mark, while out diving recently I talked to an experienced diver who was diving with twins but did not have any manifold on them, i.e. each cylinder had a first stage with a primary and an SPG. One cylinder had the low pressure inflator for his BC. What are the pros and cons of a manifold setup versus independent twins?

#scuba #scubadiving #scubadiver
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