horses will live in the taverns
and furious ants
will attack the yellow skies that take refuge in the eyes of cattle.
we’ll witness the resurrection of dead butterflies,
and still walking in a landscape of gray sponges and silent ships,
we’ll see our ring shine and rose spill from our tongue
Thus spoke Spanish poet Lorca in a dazzling poem from his surrealist period.
But even Lorca’s poetry didn’t prepare me to witness great white sharks in elevators.
The shark elevator is a device being used by the California-based Marine Conservation Science Institute to bring these formidable and elusive creatures to the surface for study.
This contraption consists of a platform that raises from the water and leaves sharks high and dry for about 15 minutes, allowing scientists to take blood samples, measure the shark, and attach a tracking antenna to its dorsal fin.
The shark elevator is a breakthrough in the study of great white sharks. Here’s a video of the shark elevator in action, and below a BlooSee map showing where these studies are being conducted.