Stunning time-lapse showcases beauty under the sea

A marine biology student has created an astonishing macro time-lapse showcasing the delicate beauty of Australia's Great Barrier Reef.

Daniel Stoutin

The Great Barrier Reef -- one of the most astonishing sites of natural beauty in the world -- is in danger. For years, it has been declining in health, and now it is under greater threat than ever from human pollution.

It would be a huge mistake to think the life therein isn't worth saving just because it's slower than us. "The most important living organisms that play the key functions in the biosphere might not seem exciting when it comes to motion," wrote Australian Ph.D. student Daniel Stoutin from the University of Queensland. "Plants, fungi, sponges, corals, plankton, and microorganisms make life on Earth possible and do all the hard biochemical jobs... However, their speeds happen to be out of sync with our narrow perception."

In a video titled "Slow Life," Stoutin has captured the lives of the corals of the barrier reef up close. Using a Canon 7D, a Canon 5D MKIII , and a Canon MP-E 65-millimeter lens, he took 150,000 macro images of coral, compiling it into a time-lapse that reveals just how dynamic and alive these creatures are.

"I had a bigger picture in my mind for my clip. But after many months of processing hundreds of thousands of photos and trying to capture various elements of coral and sponge behaviour, I realized that I have to take it one step at a time," he wrote. "For now, the clip just focuses on beauty of microscopic reef 'landscapes.' The close-up patterns and colours of this type of fauna hardly resemble anything from the terrestrial environments. Corals become even less familiar if you consider their daily 'activities.'"

By creating these beautiful works, Stoutin hopes to increase awareness about the life that teems beneath the surface of the ocean -- and to help preserve its natural habitat for generations to come. You can see more stunning images on his Web site, and read more about corals on his blog.

(Source: Crave Australia)