The Migration of Spiny Lobsters
Have you ever wondered how creatures that migrate every year to regions which lie thousands of kilometers away can manage such a thing? A host of questions immediately come to mind: How can they so precisely compute the distance they have to travel and store just enough food to last the long journey? Why don't they get confused what route to take? How do they know that the weather conditions at their destination will be better? How can they find their way even when they have never been there before? Such questions, and many others, inevitably hit upon an obvious fact.
It is plainly impossible for migratory animals to attain information about places they have never visited by means of their own consciousness and will, to do computations and to move collectively in accordance with these computations. This situation reveals that whatever they do is "inspired," and that these creatures are conducted by a superior being. These migrating animals find their way, understand how to conserve energy and glean all other necessary information due solely to inspiration from Allah.
As an example of migratory animals, we may cite the spiny lobster. Let's see how these creatures achieve the impossible. Spiny lobsters live among the coral reefs of tropical and temperate waters. When autumn comes, they leave the caverns of coral reef and gather in large groups under the sea. They form a column, ranging in number from several to over a hundred, with each animal lining up behind the other, with his antennae touching the tail of the animal ahead. There are important reasons behind lobsters moving together in this manner. First of all, travelling in lines reduces the drag effect of the water, enabling them to consume less energy and move faster. It also gives them protection as they venture across the open plains of sand, where there are no hiding places. When the lobsters are attacked by a predator, they break the line and form circles, pincers outwards, to protect themselves.19
Adults lay their eggs on the coral reefs off the coast. The larvae, are then carried back to the sea by the currents, finally setting on the bottom. The cycle repeats itself as the young ones grow and reach maturity and begin to migrate back towards the spawning grounds.
Should He not know,- He that created? and He is the One that understands the finest mysteries (and) is well-acquainted (with them). It is He Who has made the earth manageable for you, so traverse ye through its tracts and enjoy of the Sustenance which He furnishes: but unto Him is the Resurrection. (Surah Al-Mulk, 14-15)
Interesting Characteristics of Sea Horses
The appearance of sea horses is very striking, and their general structure has a very specific design. Their size varies from about 4 to 30 centimeters(1.6 to 11.8 inches) and they usually live along the shore, among seaweed and other plants. A bony armor protects them from any kind of hazard. This armor is so strong that it is impossible to crush a dried, dead sea horse using only your hands.
The head of the sea horse is set at a right angle to its body. This feature is found in no other fish. Sea horses swim with their bodies straight up and they can bend their heads up and down. But they cannot turn their heads from side to side. This might cause sight problems in other creatures but sea horses have none thanks to their special body design. The sea horse's eyes can move independently, rotating about to watch each side so they can see their surroundings easily even without being able to move their heads from side to side.
The sea horse's swimming is also affected by a very special system. It rises and sinks in the water by changing the volume of the gas in its swim bladder. If this bladder is damaged and loses a little bit of gas, the sea horse sinks to the bottom. Such a mishap causes the sea horse to die. Here, there is a very important point that should not be missed. The amount of gas in the bladder has been adjusted in a very sensitive way. For this reason, the slightest change may cause the death of the creature. What this sensitive balance shows us is very important. A sea horse can survive only as long as this adjustment is maintained. In other words, a sea horse can survive because it has come into being with this system intact. This situation shows us that it would be impossible for sea horses to acquire their characteristics over time, that is, the sea horse is not a product of evolution as the evolutionists claim. Like all other creatures in the universe, Allah created them along with all their characteristics.
Probably the most amazing aspect of the sea horse is that the male, not the female, gives birth to its offspring. The male has a large pouch and a slit-like opening at the bottom of its abdomen, where it lacks armor plating. The female lays her eggs directly into this pouch and the male fertilizes them as they are dropped. The lining inside the pouch becomes sponge-like and filled with blood vessels, which are essential for nourishing the eggs. One or two months later he gives birth to little copies of himself.20
The sea horse, which is only one of the millions of species living beneath the sea, has unique characteristics in many aspects. The design of the sea horse is just one example of Allah's boundless power and eternal knowledge:
…(He is ) the Originator of the heavens and earth. When He decides on something, He just says to it, "Be!" and it is. (Surat al-Baqara: 117)
The Unknown Side of Jellyfish
Everyone knows of jellyfish and how interesting and strange they are to us. However, the jellyfish, a creature made up of fully 95 percent water, also has a number of surprising features that are not generally known. Some of its varieties, for example, confuse their enemies by emitting light, while some others produce deadly poisons within their bodies.
Jellyfish can live in almost any climate conditions, and most are dangerous to other creatures. The jellyfish has a transparent structure and tentacles dangling from the lower part of its body. In some species, there is a poisonous liquid present in the tentacles. The jellyfish catches its prey by squirting this poison and killing its enemies. Those jellyfish species lacking poison are not, of course, defenseless. Some of them use special light-producing cells to protect themselves. They act in a planned and methodical way to save themselves from sea turtles, sea birds, fish and whales, all of which are their enemies. When they swim away from their enemies, their entire body gives off light. However, when their enemies attempt to bite them, they turn off the light in their bell-shaped parts and detach from their bodies their tentacles, where the light is still turned on. In this way, their enemies are attracted to the tentacles. Taking advantage of this situation, the jellyfish immediately swim away.
The Portuguese man-of-war (picture at bottom left) is a giant variety of jellyfish which is also known as the "blue jellyfish." It lives in all tropical and temperate climate zones, including the Mediterranean.
A Portuguese man-of-war has a deep blue sail-like organ that rises up to 20 cm (8 inches) from the sea's surface. It is this organ that enables the animal to swim and move. In its spiral-shaped tentacles are capsules containing toxins which cause paralysis.
All these features of jellyfish are interesting. How can a creature made almost entirely of water, that withers and dies as soon as it is exposed to the sun, produce chemical substances? And how could it develop tactics to confuse its enemies?
The jellyfish lacks eyes to see its prey and enemies, nor does it have a brain. It is only a jelly-like water mass, even though it performs conscious behavior such as hunting by employing various tactics, and escaping from its enemies. It is evident that the mind producing such solutions cannot belong to a jellyfish. When such pieces of information about the jellyfish are examined from this perspective, we inescapably arrive at very important conclusions that broaden our horizons. One who reflects upon jellyfish, and their features and actions, will understand that they can't do anything on their own, and that they are controlled by a power that has authority over everything. This power, which has no equal, belongs to Allah. Creating a dazzling array of animals of various kinds, Allah manifests His superior wisdom and matchless knowledge in these creatures. The jellyfish is only one example of this.
Eyes of Scallops, One of the Mollusks
The creature seen in the picture on the right is a mollusk called a scallop. Now, have a careful look at the picture. Have you noticed the little bright blue points lined along the edges of the creature that has the shape of a seashell? Would you be surprised if we told you that in fact each one of these blue points is an eye?
No matter how astonishing it is, each one of the blue points is a real eye belonging to the creature shown in the picture. These eyes, whose size is only 1 mm (0.04 inches), allow the creature to escape from its enemies.21
Every one of these tiny eyes of the scallop has its own lens and retina. The lenses of these eyes are for collecting and focusing light. Yet, these creatures lack a visual center in their brains. In other words, the images focused by their eyes are not perceived in the creature's brain in the way normal eyes see. Scientists studying the scallops' eyes hypothesize that these eyes probably cannot form vision. What, then, are these amazing eyes for?
Scallops use these eyes to discriminate light from dark, thus enabling them to move from sandy areas towards grass flats. Furthermore, their millimeter-sized eyes are sensitive enough to allow the scallops to sense movements taking place around them. Using this valuable ability, the scallop can make an escape from its predators.
The eyes of the scallop have characteristics which meet its needs in its environment, and there is an obvious design in the formation of these eyes. The eyes are lined up on the outer part of the shell in a way that enables the creature to perceive the outer world. The harmony, order and plan which surround the whole universe from undersea crustaceans to birds, from the systems in trees to stars, are certainly the work of a planner, a designer. Allah introduces Himself to us with the detailed designs that He created in the creatures. What people who are wise perceive is the boundless power of Allah that manifests itself everywhere, from atoms to galaxies, and that they must turn towards Allah only. In the Qur'an, people are reminded of this in the following way:
Do not call on any other god along with Allah. There is no god but Him. All things are passing except His Face. Judgement belongs to Him. You will be returned to Him. (Surat al-Qasas: 88)
Creatures of the Micro World: Plankton
Plankton is one of the most important, most crucial links in the undersea chain of life. The size of these creatures is not more than a couple of micrometers-micrometers, not millimeters. Considering that a micrometer is only one-millionth of a meter, obviously these creatures are far too small to be seen by the naked eye. But what characteristics of these creatures, which are so very small, make them this important and necessary for the continuity of life?
The essential nutritional component of most creatures living under the sea is, in fact, the microscopic and seemingly insignificant plankton. For this reason, a decrease in the plankton population would pose a bona fide danger for a wide swath of sea animals, from whales to tiny sea creatures. The importance of these microscopic creatures is not limited to this. Plankton are divided into two categories: vegetal and animal. The vegetal plankton are especially an essential factor for maintaining various balances on Earth.
Phytoplankton are vegetal plankton, and they are basically the single-cell microscopic organisms that are carried by sea currents. The phytoplankton collectively constitute the first essential link of the nutrient chain in the seas. Furthermore, they perform photosynthesis, like other land plants, using the sun as an energy source and producing their own nutrition. So, the vegetal plankton, which is the main organic substance source of the oceans, also plays a balancing role in the oxygen cycle.
During the process of photosynthesis performed by phytoplankton, carbon dioxide present in the air is absorbed and a great amount of oxygen is released in turn. A full 70% of the 110 billion tons of oxygen released annually by plants on Earth is obtained this way.22
Animal plankton (zoo plankton) are also composed, generally, of single-celled organisms. Yet, there might be multi-cellular organisms in this group as well. Almost all sea creature groups have their plankton forms. When invertebrate animals are still larvae, for example, or when fish are in the first phases of their development, they constitute temporary plankton.
There are many different kinds of plankton and every kind has unique characteristics. As can be seen in the limited examples mentioned here, a perfection prevails in these microscopic creatures, both in terms of their appearance and in their general structure. These creatures help to maintain a great many balances on Earth. The power of Allah is endless and He creates what He wishes as He wishes. Allah has power over all things.
19- David Attenborough, The Trials of Life, William Collins & Sons, London, 1990, p. 123
20- David Juhasz, "The Amazing Sea Horse," Creation Ex Nihilo, June-August 1994, Volume 16, no. 3, pp. 39-40.
21-Florida’s Fabulous Seashells, World Publications, FL, 1999, p. 15.
22-Dr. Jack Hall, “The Most Important Organism?” http://www.ecology.com/dr-jacks-natural-world/most-important-organism/