I almost made this blog two different ones. It almost is. There's the under the sea type near the surface, where someone can see the light and all of the more colorful fishes that live there. There is also the deep water section, where life is sort of inside out -- light comes from animals rather than the sun, squids shoot glowing ink instead of dark ink, and the sense of sight is both somewhat irrelevant and even misleading.
I'm going to put the both of these in one blog, because they are clearly related. Let's start with the more surface dwelling. Keep in mind that a lot of things I write for surface will be relevant for both, it's just that the deeper sea has extra connotations.
The Undersea Type
- is easily enchanted by colors
- is generally contemplative
- feels connected to animals
- feels very strongly about things that are rejected or ignored
- is visually stimulated
- has a desire to learn
- flirts between respect for danger and desire for danger
- is not particularly open to those who don't understand their love of sea
The thing about being underwater is that you feel encapsulated. You're surrounded on all sides. The person who enjoys the underwater environment has a longing to feel secure in this way, and thus prefers peace and distance from the entanglements of the normal. Like the open seas type, the undersea does like to get away from the rat race and the ordinary, but the difference here is that the undersea type is not looking for adventure. Life is too boring on the mainland for the open seas; it's too hectic for the underseas.
There's lots to look at underwater. Both plants and animals create a world both alien and comfortable. The underwater world gets along without a lot of talk and yet with a lot of autonomy. The underseas type sympathizes with the utter independence and peace of the seas, and thus ends up being a very good listener and observer of those around. However, the underwater type's disadvantage is a low tolerance for large amounts of noise, especially things like whining, complaining, or insistent debate -- things that attempt to force an action from the underwater type contrary to their desires. While alarms are also annoying, they have no personality behind them and are thus less offensive.
Naturally, the underseas person enjoys animals. Sometimes they want to interact with animals, but a lot of the time they're simply content with looking. This is especially true since in the ocean most animals should either be kept at a distance or are too quick or small to keep up with. The undersea type prefers not to bother any animal or interfere with its activities if it's at all possible, but this conflicts with an inner desire to be near to the animal, to communicate with and appreciate the creature. While the beachgoer gets a thrill from doing anything exciting or fun, the undersea type gets thrills only by learning from or communicating with nature -- the undersea's goal is not the thrill, but becoming closer to nature.
Learning is a big part of this. To go under the water, a person has to have the right breathing apparatus, know how to behave in front of dangerous animals, have knowledge on first aid in emergencies, and how to best swim upwards without getting the bends. Above and beyond the other environment types, the undersea person is usually far more aware of how dangerous his chosen environment is. Not that this type also can't fall prey to swimming too close to a shark, but simply due to the nature of their environment and the preparation it takes to stay there they are forced to be more aware of the danger. Notedly, this experiential education is harder to attain for those who love the underwater world and yet are unable to get lots of diving in. Though people who can't dive do often read books about it to keep up.
Not unlike outer space, the under water world hasn't really been fully explored. There are all manner of new creatures there that scientists are discovering every day. Thus, the undersea person seeks knowledge, more so than the outer space type. It's far more difficult and expensive to obtain information about space, and thus generally speaking the outer space type enjoys space as a free reign for the imagination. The undersea type, however, has the advantage of a more explorable environment, and thus enjoys the benefits of scientific study every day. Also, versus space the oceans are contained. There is a clear and obvious limit to the sea, representing a form of philosophical safety to the undersea type.
The undersea type is not philosophical. They might appear to be, given how strongly they feel about pollution or the preservation of marine life. However, this is simply emphasis on their own beliefs; they don't enjoy intellectual discourse for its own sake, and are usually not fond of playing devil's advocate, especially when their environment is in question. Any philosophy they talk about is the result of their love of nature, though usually this is felt as an emotion rather than spoken as a belief; oceanographers can have trouble explaining their love to those who don't find things like eels, reeds, and sea turtles interesting for their own sake.
This environment type contains a large number of environmentalists. They love every bit of their world, and are exceedingly sensitive to threats to it. This can alienate them from others, as they are willing to go to extreme lengths to protect their environment, and they can treat fishermen as though they are stupid -- many times when they write about spear fishermen being attacked by sharks, they do not sound at all sympathetic, and act as though the spear fisher had it coming.
When investigating different species of shark (sharks are cool), I found that most websites went on an on about how man was killing off sharks, and yet didn't mention the very thing that most divers found useful: exactly how dangerous is a particular shark? When you're ten feet from a shark, it doesn't make a difference if it's near threatened or not. What does make a difference is whether the shark is an oceanic whitetip or a bigeye sixgill -- is it the kind that'll kill you or what? Here's a hint: sixgills = nice, oceanic whitetips = GET TO THE BOAT. What these environmentalists need to learn is that trying to force someone to appreciate an animal by saying it's rare doesn't really work. What works is giving outsiders the knowledge they need to make wise choices. It's hard to like a shark when you're scared to hell of it.
Even when the undersea person is not an environmentalist, they can have an emotional attachment to dangerous animals. This is not absurd. The undersea type feels very strongly about things that are rejected outright, like a shark for being dangerous or an anglerfish for being weird looking. Things that are neglected or not fully understood are things that appeal to the undersea person. They're always on the lookout for things that are unusual and mysterious. They tend to call things beautiful that the average person does not see as such, and they get a large sense of appreciation for natural things.
Now let's move on to the deep sea variant. Keep in mind that most of what I've said for the regular undersea type applies to them, but many aspects are twisted in some way.
- does not feel drawn to the metaphorical light.
- feels distant from most of humanity
- feels contained
- is drawn towards the rejected
- is drawn towards the gloomy and grotesque.
- is often pessimistic
Notedly, most of the regular undersea types appreciate the deep sea simply because it also has life in it that is worth studying. However, most undersea personalities prefer the lighter places, if only for the fact that they can properly dive and see, or find both the sea and deep sea equally appealing. This variant, however, sees the deep sea as more appealing. Unlike the undersea type, the deep sea type is usually someone who has less experience diving and less opportunity to do so. This is because the life closer to the surface is usually more cheerful and colorful, what with the reefs, anemones, and brightly colored fish specimens, and to get to the deep sea one must pass the cheery part. That, and people who dive a lot tend to appreciate most all of the sea, unless they go to deeper parts to find more unique animals.
No, the main appeal of the deep sea is the fact that it's gloomy. The creatures that live there are in a sense trapped, because they are designed to live with the weight of miles of water -- they literally can't live where the water pressure lessens. This symbolizes the distance between the deep sea type and the rest of humanity. What naturally follows is a deep depression, and many times a feeling of inadequacy.
However, the deep sea is still something to appreciate. This is where the secret, hidden animals live, and where it is theorized that many species dwell that humanity hasn't even discovered yet. There are many things that glow and shine, and many things that can't be seen at all. Secrecy and mystery are all around, and eyes are mostly useless that far deep. This represents a distrust in the deep sea type towards that which is apparent and considered normal. They don't believe that the truth can be easily seen, and that when it is seen it is hideous -- to the normal person, that is. Like all undersea people, the deep sea type appreciates things which are rejected or not classically beautiful, though they do so for more rebellious reasons, as there's nothing particularly beautiful about a goblin shark or a flabby whalefish.
While all of nature is generally predatory, the undersea is seen as more so. There are no cuddly animals, you can't observe mothers caring for their young, teeth tend to be very obvious, and glowing lures lead to gaping mouths. Thus what we're left with is a place that feels utterly violent, where survival is key. Survival also does not feel very possible, especially not to the human who cannot see. Thus the person who admires the deep sea may feel that life is brutish and short, and difficult to succeed in. They often see those who have succeeded as predators or deceivers (think anglerfish lures), and have trouble trusting.
The deep sea type is a sort of parallel to the outer space type, as both evoke images of dark places with glowing lights. Outer space, however, is open, and represents endless possibilities and dark optimism ("the world is full of dangers, but limitless beauty"). The deep sea represents containment and cheerful pessimism ("isn't it funny how doomed we all are?"). The deep sea type is tempted to see his position as one of intelligence, that he has figured out life and that all the rest of us are deep sea clams and bacteria, living off one another in an endless cycle of simply continuing on through time. Inevitability is a theme commonly found in the deep sea type. Any attempt to see the brighter side of life, God, or spiritual possibilities seems to the deep sea type to be false hope, and an utter contradiction to "real life". Believers are thus told to get over themselves.
Like other environment types, the deep sea type sees itself as able to survive in its chosen environment. Thus there is an element of imagining the self to be capable of surviving in this place. Namely, a powerful predator that isn't capable of coming to the surface. Said predator doesn't fit in well with others.
This tends to happen more to emo kids rather than people who actually go to the deep sea to explore. Those that go there tend to be more optimistic, and closer to the regular undersea folk in behavior. While they maintain a level of sarcasm (assuming they are true undersea types -- your personality type is determined by the environment you enjoy the most, not necessarily the environment you live or work in), the discovery of new species and life is fun and interesting. The person who admires the deep sea from this angle is much more like the outer space type, expecting new and strange things to appear. Only the deep sea explorer has the advantage of being able to expect strange things instead of having to imagine them.
As for the emotional deep sea type, most people stay in this stage only temporarily, or allow it to settle into a pessimistic worldview while at the same time admitting that maybe life isn't as bad as it first appears. The trouble with the deep sea is the exact same trouble with the deep sea type: exploration and departure from one's chosen environment means experiencing new things and learning to see from the perspective of others who don't see life as so dark, and thus make life not so dark. The deep sea person must then "rise to the surface" and learn to accept life more as a normal undersea type does, in that life is worth exploring and there is beauty to be found in all.