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Post details: The Magic of Moisture

The Magic of Moisture

One thing which truly amazes me about our universe is how singularly uneven the distribution of natural beauty is.

Just consider a thought experiment in which you fly in a low orbit over our sister planets - Venus and Mars. Its just bare rocks and dirt, a habitat so boring and inhospitable that even an idealistic scorpion would be hard pressed to call it a real estate. There is nothing you could put on a postcard. Just miles and miles of the same desert like landscape. And then there is Earth, the mystical blue orb with its steaming volcanoes, sprawling prairies, patches of green ferns, ramified linden trees, thundering waterfalls, majestic sequoias, skippy kangaroos, moss covered boulders, sinusoidal sting rays, fragrant orchids, stern tundras, rows of cherry trees, you name it.

Nowhere can you see this baffling display of morphological exuberance better than in a rain forest. I recently visited the island of St Lucia, where we took a relatively short hike winding through its original jungle to a mineral waterfall. We started in a little village, not far from the famous Pitons and ascended along a narrow path through a sugar cane field into the forest. As we were leaving the village, our guide would often reach into a dense foliage and uncover some bizarre looking fruit, the kind you usually see prominently displayed in the produce section of supermarkets. While in the mild climate forest you can count up to 5-6 kinds of trees, in here it seemed that each tree is its own species, emanating intoxicating smells and spreading its convoluted branches thirstily in all directions. Soon we came to a small waterfall, whose sulfuric waters smelled of healing powers. And I bet at least half of the wildly entangled plants surrounding it could cure you of your ailments too.

Being a garden variety Earthling, I simply marveled. But if I was a Martian, I would be infinitely envious.



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