“And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that [it was] good.”
Even though it’s a mammal and not a fish, the Weddell seal of the Antarctic is one of the greatest deep-sea divers in the world. Weighing up to 1,200 pounds, the Weddell seal can cruise under water for up to 70 minutes. It is able to reach depths as great as 1,600 feet. For comparison, the record for a human being is a 13-minute, 43-second dive down to 282 feet.
Humans are not designed to handle the pressure changes involved in diving to great depths. If humans stay too deep for too long and then return to the surface too quickly, they may die. The rapid change in pressure causes nitrogen to come out of solution in the blood. The result is a potentially fatal condition known as the “bends.”
Weddell seals don’t have to worry about this because their blood doesn’t have dissolved nitrogen. Scientists are trying to learn just how the Weddell seals’ lungs prevent this. However, the unique design of the Weddell seal doesn’t stop with its lungs. The Weddell seal is able to withstand pressures up to 750 pounds per square inch. Those pressures on you or me would cause us to have epileptic seizures.
What science is learning about the complex and unique designs of the Weddell seals make the evolutionary claims that these seals came from land-living mammals increasingly difficult to believe. Yet, they illustrate the great wisdom of our Creator!
Lord, You have created the mountains and the depths of the seas. Where You have commanded creatures to live, there they live to Your glory. Help me to live the life You have given me to Your glory. Amen.
Browne, Malcolm W. 1984. “Antarctica: life’s tenuous toehold.” Discover, Mar. p. 44.