I'm priviledged to be part of the board of directors of Whaletimes, Inc., an educational non-profit organization that promotes marine science awareness to K-12 students and their teachers. This year, they're kicking off the first national Hagfish Day on October 21 (it will always fall on the third Wednesday of October). You might ask, why celebrate hagfish? Well, the idea is to celebrate the beauty of ugly (and trust me, after one glance at this picture, you can see why the hagfish qualifies).
Let's face it, not every sea creature can be an adorable seal with those big brown eyes, or have the striking markings of an Orca, or the charming personality of a dolphin. Some animals are just plain ugly; but that doesn't mean they're any less valuable in the web of life and don't have their own merits. Hence, Hagfish Day was created!
After you finish reading this post, click here to discover all kinds of information about Hagfish and some other ugly sea creatures. Whaletimes has developed activities that include an Ugly Beauty Contest, classroom activities, Hagfish Haikus and Wish Poems (see--this is the part where it ties into writing--I mean, who hasn't been tempted to write a hagfish haiku? You know you want to!). In fact, if you write a hagfish (or other ugly marine animal) haiku, send it my way too. I'd be happy to post it here on my blog, on Hagfish Day!
And while you're at the Whaletimes site, check out the other cool things going on--like the new Creep into the Deep program (done in cooperation with NOAA), which puts kids as close to being on a deep sea dive as they could get.