Foldscope Fun At Moss Landing Beach

Hello foldscopers! I decided to explore the Moss Landing Beach because I work near there every day and have yet to explore the beach up close and personal! Moss Landing, California sits at the head of the Monterey Submarine Canyon, which is over twice the size of the Grand Canyon but underwater!

This aerial view of Monterey Bay from the south was created by combining computer-generated topographic and bathymetric data. Vertical relief has been exaggerated to better show the Monterey Canyon and mountains on either side of the bay.
Taken from:

IMG_1545 I took this picture of the beach from my view at work!

There is a long stretch of sandy beach habitat here, but not much else. There tends to be a lot of algae that washes up on the shore during high tides, but there is no hard substrate where I was so you wont find tide pools here. There are, however, lots of whale sightings during the summer time! Yesterday I saw at least 10 whale spouts while walking along the beach but they were too far away to take a picture. Southern Sea Otters and California Sea Lions are often spotted here as well, and there are over 200 species of birds to observe.

As I walked along the beach I tried found what appeared to be a kelp gas bladder, but it looked as though it has busted open and there were tiny filaments growing out of it. I had never seen this before so I decided to examine further. I found tiny bugs living within the hairs of the gas bladder, and my assumption is that they might be sand fleas. I decided to look at one of them up close using the foldscope!

IMG_1485 Here is a regular view of the gas bladder that I found with what looked like hairs/filament growing out of it. The bugs were located within and throughout the filaments.

IMG_1498  Here is the head of the little critter!

IMG_1493  I assume that this is a leg with little setae on it.

IMG_1487 IMG_1495 IMG_1490

I am so excited about using the foldscope and I can’t wait to explore the microscopic world further now that I have a foldscope of my own! I would have never thought that I would be able to get a close up look at the little critters jumping around in the sand. They are so tiny and are hard to see in detail with the naked eye but my foldscope made a closer look possible!


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