Fish Now Have Skin Cancer Too…

Science, Thoughts

The black spots on this Coral Trout are melanomas.

For the first time in history, a wild marine fish species has been identified with skin cancer off the coast of Australia.

Caught on the Great Barrier Reef, coral trout have been discovered with large black spots on their skin, now identified as cancerous melanomas. One researcher documented that 15% of these fish found on the reef show signs of skin cancer. The percentage may even be higher due to the fact that some fish may have died due to illness or consumed by predators.

Researchers state that melanomas on the skin of these fish were likely due to the UV radiation and the closeness of the fish species to the hole in the ozone layer over parts of Antarctica and Australia. (No wonder I got “surfer’s eye” induced by extreme sun exposure in my year abroad in Australia..the sun really is MORE intense there!) Hence it is no wonder that Australia has the highest occurrence of skin cancer in the entire world. That boils down to the fact that 2 out of 3 Australians will be diagnosed before that age of 70. Very unfortunate…wear your sunscreen Aussies!

Coral trouts are normally orange all over… but not with melanomas. (Michelle Heupel, Australian Institute of Marine Science / August 1, 2012)

Alright back to the fish- the researchers from the Australian Institute of Marine Science were on the reef doing a survey of shark prey, i.e. coral trout. They saw the discoloration on the fish and after examining it under a microscope, discovered  it was cancerous tumors.

“Studying disease in wild fish populations is very time-consuming and costly so it’s hard to say how long the disease has been around. However, what we do know is that it is now widespread in the coral trout population effecting three different species of this type of fish and we would not be surprised to find it in other species as well.” -Dr. Sweet

The fish were caught off of Heron Island (where I did research on tube worm larvae!) and One Tree Island – which make up the southern portion of the Great Barrier Marine Park. 136 fish were caught, resulting with 20 (15%) showing signs of skin cancer.

Even though this is just the first published report about fish with skin cancer, I’m sure the occurrence isn’t new. Some fishermen trace it back to as early as the 1980’s. The diagnosed fish didn’t show signs of illness, but that also doesn’t mean that many of them have already died from the cancer once it got invasive. Questions and answers are still yet to be answered pertaining to skin cancer in fish- I’ll try and keep you posted as best as I can on this issue.


It’s Your Life, Make It Amazing

Photography, Thoughts

If you want your dream job- go for it.
If you are in love with someone- go tell them.
If you want to move somewhere new- make it happen.
If you want to get in shape- be your own inspiration to do so.

I’ve learned that in order to do or get what you want in life, you have to take chances and jump on opportunities when they open up. Risks are what make life exciting and unpredictable!

Life is too short to wonder “What If???” 

I was talking to my neighbor last night, and he mentioned how he had so many opportunities in his youth that he just didn’t take the initiative to do. Thus, he pushed me to do as many things as I can while I’m young and free. This whole concept has been on the top of my agenda specifically at the start of this year, and I’ve tried to jump on as many opportunities as I could so far. I mean, I’ve jumped out of a plane, ran 2 5K’s, started doing yoga, made new friends, went on multiple calls with the fire department, and the list continues…

With all this inspiration, I edited one of my images from when I studied abroad in Australia with one of my favorite quotes (as seen above) that I think really hits home on this topic.

I don’t want to grow up and feel like I missed out on life, and neither should you. Even if you consider yourself older, it doesn’t mean that there aren’t opportunities you can still fulfill. You never know what tomorrow holds, so that’s why you live today like it’s the only one you have left. Smile, love, laugh, and enjoy it all!


Spreading some “Ocean Love” for World Oceans Day on June 8th!

Photography, Science, Thoughts

World Oceans Day lands on Friday June 8th this year- a little less than a month away!

I feel like I haven’t shown much “ocean love” in a while…so today that’s going to change!

Here are some photos of different oceans/beaches that I am so lucky to have seen and explored 😀

Have you been to any of these places before??

Great Barrier Reef- Cairns, Australia

Mazatlan, Mexico

Byron Bay, Australia

Heron Island, Australia

Carmel Beach, California

Monterey Bay, California

Point Lobos, California

Napili Kai, Maui, Hawaii

Moorea, Tahiti

Bahia de Los Angeles, Gulf of Mexico

Santa Cruz, California

San Francisco, California

Elephant Seal Beach, Big Sur, California

Moss Landing, California

Wailea, Maui, Hawaii

Newport Beach, California

Pacific Grove, California

Bay of Islands, New Zealand

MY 100th POST!


Good morning my friends (or random web surfers) 🙂

Today I am releasing my 100th post!! I started this blog after I returned from my year abroad in Australia- and didn’t need to write anymore for that blog since I was back in the states. But I still had the URGE to write and express myself after doing it non-stop for a year. I enjoy sharing stories, videos, and photos with you all. Even if nobody read it… I would still love exposing it to the inter-web for anyone to find.

I don’t really know what epic thing to do for my 100th post…maybe share with you some of my favorite digital and film photos?? How about my most popular posts over the last 99 posts?? SURE WHY NOT?!


1) Flatulent Snakes For the WIN! I guess there is a lot of people interesting in the farting habits of snakes…

2) Dogs and Dolphins= Secret Best Friends? Comes in as a close 2nd place. I mean who can’t get enough of 2 cute animals being best friends???

3) Best Picture From The Royal Wedding! Finishes the top 3 blog posts. This one was so popular I think because the picture in this post is soooo hilarious and perfect. That little girl is definitely going to frame that in her house when she grows up.


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Soldier Crabs.

Brandon Boyd- Incubus

Curious Sea Otters.

Knock Knock?

Busy Streets.

Sleepy MB Sea Lion.

Byron Bay.

Under The Bridge.

Thank all of your for your support and comments 🙂 They really do make my day!!

Here’s to the next 100 posts!!



So Earth Day just passed us on April 22nd.

Unfortunately I had to work the whole day, so I didn’t get to go out and enjoy nature or do a beach/street clean up. I guess welcome to the adult world of working 9-6pm.

Please let me know what all your bloggers did on Earth Day?!

An article the day before Earth Day described how 100’s of new islands were discovered! What better than celebrating Earth Day with more “earth” discovered 🙂 The study added 657 islands to the world’s list of barrier islands- equaling to a total of 2,149 islands!

Speaking about barrier islands- here is a pic of a coral cay (Heron Island) on the Great Barrier Reef in Australia that I studied on.

Heron Island