Mapa do Brasil Tidal Pool

October 07, 2008

100708 copy

Provided by: Enver Murad
Summary Author: Enver Murad, Jim Foster

Porto de Galinhas (Harbor of Chickens in English) is a small town on the coast of Pernambuco, Brazil. The name stems from the period when slavery had been officially abolished in Brazil, yet was still practiced. When a slave transport docked in Porto de Galinhas, word was sent around that a "load of chickens" had arrived. Today Porto de Galinhas is an upcoming tourist resort that boasts marvelous beaches and coral reefs. The most famous sights are the "piscinas naturais," tidal pools in which fish and crustaceans get trapped during low tide. The pool shown above has the outline of Brazil, more or less, and hence is called "Mapa do Brasil." Note the faint caustic network in the foreground of the pool. The water surface acts to both focus and defocus light onto the bottom of the pool. When areas are in crude focus, they appear as bright blotches. This phenomenon is often observed in swimming pools and can be seen in relatively deep tidal pools (greater than about 1 m or a little over 3 ft).