Our coasts are large, vast wildernesses that witness the mystical pageantry of life. They have given us monsters and myths, they are fathoms deep and full of whispers, home to unknown creatures and sprawling ecosystems. They are chasms of beauty and frontiers of possibility. From deep within the dark, unknowable abyss of our oceans comes a coruscating kaleidoscope of colors and brilliance: the intertidal zone. And the marine lifeforms of these zones are capable of superpowers. Yes, superpowers! Of the kind that comic book characters can only dream of.
Mumbai hosts some magnificent intertidal species-solar-powered slugs, escape-artist octopuses, venomous jellies, harpooning conus sea snails, to name just a few. It is as biodiverse as a forest wildlife safari, and twice as secretive. From bioluminescence and advanced sonic capabilities to camouflage and shape-shifting, these cloaked assassins are capable of otherworldly skill. Superpowers on the Shore by Sejal Mehta is a dazzling, assured look at some of the creatures with whom we share our world, our water, our monsoons, our beaches and the sandcastles therein.
Come witness the magic of our intertidal superheroes, their fragile beauty and their iridescent drama. Put on your waterproof shoes, pack a bottle of whimsy, bring your sense of wonder. And prepare to be mesmerized.
Sejal Mehta is a journalist, editor and children's book author. She has worked in the magazine industry and written for newspapers and publications for the last 17 years, including Lonely Planet, National Geographic and Nature inFocus.
For the last two years, she has been part of the core team at Marine Life of Mumbai, an initiative documenting and creating awareness about Mumbai's coasts. Her forte has become making science palatable and fun to lay audiences. She has been speaking about the intertidal to adults and kids for two years, and has found an engaged audience, ready to convert to tidepooling on their own.