“Life in Ocean” by guschen802 is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
Specimens ferment in large clear test tubes, statistical machines run while calculating figures, and there’s a faint sound of various sea life such as a beluga whale in the distant background. Joshua Turner has been a biological oceanographer and marine biologist for over twenty years. He’s currently working on a huge discovery for ocean life. Mr. Turner is calculating the depth of the ocean floor and pressure on his sonar machine in his laboratory. He has recently discovered that there’s freshwater located beneath the ocean’s floor. Conducting his research, he has finally discovered freshwater. He’s extremely excited to notify the government and especially his family. Mr. Turner then looks at his digital clock on his computer and realizes he’s running late to his son’s swim meet.
The scoreboard slowly counts down from one minute and finally, the buzzer sounds off. There’s Joshua Turner’s son, Reed hanging on the side of the pool pumping his fist in the air in excitement. Reed has recently turned sixteen and he’s classified as one of the fastest swimmers within the school’s conference. Reed finishes in second place in today’s match and looks up to see his dad who just made it in time for him to see Reed finish his last lap in freestyle. The match had ended and Reed walked over to hug his father.
“Congratulations son, I’m proud of you and you qualified for districts. I’m heading home to get dinner around with your mother and I have some exciting news to tell you!”
Reed simply hugged his father and gave him a slight smile.
As the Turner family sat down for dinner, Mr. Turner couldn’t hold his discovery in for much longer. He blurted it out to the whole family before his wife, Elaine, could finish her salad. Mr. Turner then expressed how it’s only in the beginning stages of locating it and not having the adequate technology to dive deep down yet but, he let his family know he’ll do anything to keep the process continuing to discover it and see it in sight. Reed finished his dinner and congratulated his dad, kissed his mother on the cheek, and hurried upstairs to finish up his homework. Reed started to work on his math homework and slowly started to fall asleep while sitting at his desk.
As the seconds started to wind down on Reed’s clock it finally rang when it struck seven o’clock in the morning. Mr. Turner walked into Reed’s room after five minutes of the alarm continuing and finally shut it off. Reed finally got up and headed off to school as Mr. Turner kissed his wife goodbye and she told him, “Have great day honey and don’t forget to discover something new today…maybe even a mermaid.” Mr. Turner chuckled and reminded her that he loves her too.
While Mr. Turner was working in his laboratory, he soon became alarmed when his son Reed showed up unexpectedly. Reed explained to his father how he recently has become intrigued with water and felt himself changing. His father explained to Reed that he was going through what men like to call puberty. Reed brushed it off and decided to skip the rest of school for the day, headed to the gym to swim some laps and blow off some steam that has built up throughout the day.
Later that evening, he insisted that his father take him to the laboratory and run tests to find out what’s wrong with him, because there’s something wrong with him, and he’s not overreacting, as his mother would say.
Finally, after a couple of days of Reed complaining about his health, Mr. Turner took him to his laboratory to run a series of procedures and tests to figure out what could possibly be wrong with his son. Mr. Turner not only had discovered freshwater beneath the Earth’s surface but now has discovered his one and only child Reed has transformed into a fantasy creature. Reed Turner, your average teenage boy has turned into a mermaid or well a merman if you prefer to call it that. Reed felt overwhelmed but thought it was pretty cool with what just happened. The Turner family knew that their lives were about to change. Mr. Turner talked to Reed and found a way for him to get the water he needs and to also help with his father’s discovery. After having this new bold discovery, Mr. Turner has planned to have Reed help with a deep discovery into the ocean.
Mr. Turner’s team, the government, and Reed slowly start to gather equipment that will be notorious for this search. One of the most important pieces of technology is the Submersible Pressure Gage (SPG), which will determine how deep Reed is going to have to dive down. Along with the gage is the Dive Computer, the dive computer is going to measure the time and depth during a dive and use this data to calculate and display the depression in algorithms. Reed mentions to his father how he should take a compass as well because he reminded him how he’s new to this whole underwater mermaid thing. After a few weeks of gathering high technology equipment, the government pushed Mr. Turner that the time has come and Reed better be prepared. Later that evening, the Turner family had their last dinner together before the dive and the family ended the night with a prayer for Reed’s health and return but also for Mr. Turner’s successful discovery.
The water was choppy. It felt cold as it splashed off the boat onto the passenger’s faces, and there sat Reed preparing to take his last breath of fresh air full of oxygen before starting to breathe water through his gills. Reed hugged his father and reminds him he loves him so much and slides slowly into the ocean. Government officials salute and nod their heads to Reed as an approval to begin his quest. As he floats in the water, he and the whole crew noticed his glittery blue, greenish gills pop out on the surface of his skin. Further down, there’s a long luxurious tail with two fins and no sign of human toes. Reed takes a long breath and starts to swim beneath the surface.
Underneath the water, Reed hears a faint sound through his earphone driver, which will translate electrical signals into audible sound down through his ear canal. It was the voice of his father who’s back on the boat following his son’s every swift movement on the sonar system and calculating how fast he’s swimming by a radar detector. While Reed is swimming through the ocean, he begins to drift into a daze by reflecting on his childhood and how times were so simple in comparison to now. In his daze, Reed soaks up the warm feeling of the sunlight breaking through the surface and takes in all the natural beauty this Earth has to offer. He finally snapped out of his daze and overheard his father explaining how he should be coming up on an old shipwreck. His father reminds him that once he sees the ship, he has to travel West from the wreck towards a coral reef arch and to swim directly under it. Reed did what he was told and then was instructed to keep swimming ahead until he was further notified.
Eventually, Reed kept swimming until the sunlight wasn’t shining through anymore and it became dark and dangerous very quickly. Reed knew it was dangerous because not a single person has ever gone down that deep and alone not knowing what could happen. He advised his father about how uncomfortable he was starting to feel but reassured him that his health was good by checking his submersible pressure gage. Mr. Turner wanted his son to come back up to the surface and forget the whole search but, the government advised him that he and his son were to continue with the discovery or will be prosecuted for treason. Meanwhile, down in the depths, Reed had come over the earpiece to let them know he found a long crack within the ocean floors. He lowered himself down along the crack and felt the freshwater pass through his gills. Reed was one hundred percent sure his mission was a success. The next thing heard over Reed’s earpiece was shouting and chanting saying that they discovered the freshwater. As the excitement dwelled down, no one heard anything from Reed’s end. Down on the floor, Reed was really close to the crack investigating the freshwater when he witnessed an enormous shark swam by. Reed started to panic and became very concerned about what he should do next.
Meanwhile, on the boat, Reed continued to let everyone know what’s going on. The head of the government advised him to continue with the search and start heading back up to the surface when all of a sudden, the sonar and driver cut out and nothing was to be seen or heard of.
Reed down under was being chased after by the shark. This shark wasn’t your average Great White either. The shark is a Megalodon, which is supposed to be extinct. Reed is swimming through the wide-open ocean through the pitch black. The megalodon had chased Reed right into a corner of rocks where he became cornered. All of a sudden Reed’s life flashed before his eyes, a small robotic device had swum down and faced the megalodon head-on. The miniature submarine took a quick picture of the shark and then spontaneously released dead fish guts all over itself and tried to distract the shark from Reed. The shark took a huge whiff of the fish blood and started to chase the submarine which lead the shark far away from Reed.
The signal finally was retrieved back up to the boat and Reed could get in touch with his father on what just happened. The head government official briefly said that he sent the device down to see what had happened and how everyone is in shock on another major discovery.
“That if he can relocate the freshwater, head back over to it and let’s wrap this search up and get you home safely,” Mr. Turner said to Reed.
Reed swam fast back to the gap located on the ocean floor. He lowered himself down close to the freshwater spewing out of the whole. As he opened his mouth to breathe in the freshwater, he slightly felt himself start to change in way. He looks at his arms, body, and tail and realized by breathing in the freshwater his scales and gills slowly started to disappear.
Reed phoned up to his father, “Dad I took a deep breath near it and now I think I’m transforming back into a human and my body is slowly feeling tight.”
Mr. Turner replied, “Son get the sample and get the hell out of there, I can’t afford to lose my only child.” Reed grabbed a tube the government had instructed him to use and took the sample of the freshwater even though being so close to it felt like his lungs were being completely crushed.
Reed swam as fast as he could but had a death grip on the test tube containing the freshwater sample. He noticed that for as fast as he was swimming, his SPG was counting down which meant the pressure was decreased not causing so much tightness on his lungs. As he was swimming the sunlight started to break through the surface. Reed felt relieved that he was almost back to the boat. The crew on the boat watched the sonar and saw Reed approaching. They gathered all the men and women to help him out of the water slowly for him to safely transform. On the boat ride back to land, Reed finally could relax while his tail and gills had disappeared, the scales still remained on his body.
Back on land and into Mr. Turner’s laboratory, he ran a series of test that had proved it was freshwater beneath the ocean’s floors, the megalodon is not extinct, and his son was a mermaid or merman but, most certainly he was okay. Mr. Turner had then reflected on his decision involving his son’s participation throughout his research. He somewhat felt guilty that if something would occur to happen to Reed, it would be all his fault. Weeks had gone by; Mr. Turner had become famous across the world for his multiple discoveries. Mr. Turner yet continued his regular normal life but, had decided to take a break from his laboratory and focus more on his family.
Reed returned somewhat back to his normal lifestyle but had to adjust to his certain conditions. Reed went on finishing his sophomore year of high school as the undefeated National Champion for relay swimming. He felt like he was king of the world and how everyone wanted to be his friend. He was humble and kind but still, he felt quite different than others. Two full years had passed since the discoveries. Reed was now eighteen years old and he found himself craving more and more water every day. He was ready to make his first official adult decision.
One evening at dinner, Reed explained to his parents about his decision and even though they weren’t fond of it they did perhaps agree. A week later, Reed and his parents went to the local beach during sunset. He kissed his mother and hugged his father goodbye. Reed said, “I love you all so much and I will be back.” Mrs. Turner held her husband’s hand and photographed Reed as they watched him walk into the ocean. A few seconds later, you see a pod of dolphins and Reed swimming alongside each other and that’s when Mrs. Turner took one last picture for her to always hold onto and remind her of her son.
Dunham, Duwayne, director. “The 13th Year.” Disney Channel, 1999. Film.
This movie reflects on a teenage boy who slowly turns in a mermaid on his thirteen birthday. His parents who raised him, talk to their son to let him know why he is changing. He was changing into a mermaid because his biological mother is one. She felt endangered one day, so she left her son on this couple’s boat. This movie provided great amounts of details especially about mermaids that helped in this fictional story. The film showed a strong relationship between the son and his “biological” parents and I felt it was important to continue in this story.
Politecnico di Torino. “Seawater turns into freshwater through solar energy: A new low-cost technology.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 January 2019. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/01/190107131242.htm>.
Trott, Corinne B., et al. “Large‐Scale Fresh and Salt Water Exchanges in the Indian Ocean.” Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, vol. 124, no. 8, 2019, pp. 6252-6269.
US Department of Commerce, and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. “Vessels.” NOAA Ocean Explorer: Technology, 1 Apr. 2013, oceanexplorer.noaa.gov/technology/diving/diving.html.
“Madison Coolbaugh is a student at Wilkes University. She is majoring in Nursing and hopes to become a Registered Nurse with her Bachelor’s Degree. In her future, she wants to continue her education and hopefully one day be able to teach nursing students. In Madison’s spare time, she enjoys shopping, traveling and spending time with her family.”