First of all, thank you so much for your kind and insightful comments on my last article (shameless self-plug). But today, I have something different in mind. Today we’ll talk about Pedro Pascal, because this is the Internet, goddammit, and I’m also supposed to bring some clicks to this site. Now, could I write a 2,000-word essay on Pedro Pascal’s cultural significance for Chile and Chileans, being our first proper megastar? Yes, I could. But a) I think I have some reports due for my Degree in Education, and b) The Overlords pay me per post, and Pedro Pascal being a content goldmine, I’ll be damned if don’t milk him for all he’s worth.
Moving on. Chile has well over 4,000 kilometers of coastline, ranging from bone dry deserts to a labyrinth of fjords and icecaps. As you might expect, we have been graced with the most stunning array of marine wildlife, not as colorful as in the Great Reef Barrier, but wondrous nevertheless. And quite tasty. Sorry, Seaspiracy producers!
(Also, the sea is balls-shiveringly cold. And by saying balls, I’m also including ovaries, because they’re round in shape and the water is so cold that a swim in our beaches could turn into a cost-effective way to freeze your eggs if you want to).
How does this all tie together with Pedro Pascal? Well, Chilean marine biologist Moisés Gallo Ávalos (the career path I should’ve taken 12 years ago) handily discovered what I’m gonna go ahead and call an evolutionary link between Pedrito and species across our marine fauna. Does this mean he is like that alien at the beginning of Prometheus, the one that dissolved himself and kickstarted life on earth? Probably, but more geographically circumscribed.
Let me show you the evidence. For educational purposes.
Para aliviar las tensiones de hoy:— Moisés Gallo Ávalos (@moisesgallo) January 7, 2021
🌊PEDRO PASCAL COMO FAUNA MARINA CHILENA🌊
Hilo ⏬ pic.twitter.com/maSmZ1INix
Starting with some of the oldest life forms on record, here we have him as a Phidiana lottini, a type of sea gastropod covered in colorful tips used both for respiration and metabolism, and as you might guess, they are covered in irritating agents.
Nudibranquio espalda de fuego (Phidiana lottini) pic.twitter.com/on4d9TRsSv— Moisés Gallo Ávalos (@moisesgallo) January 7, 2021
Next, we have him as a Chungungo, or Lontra felina, the southern Sea Otter, an endangered species, mostly after decades of poaching and habitat loss. These chonkers have not been as studied and fawned over as their northern counterparts and I hope we can start correcting this geocultural imbalance.
Then we have the Humboldt Penguin (Spheniscus humboldti), an elegant boy more common to the north of Chile and Peru. This species is vulnerable, and even though it is protected, for some f—king reason, a Chilean company was granted environmental approval to develop a mining site and port nearby the maritime reserve specifically meant to protect this species. Keep an eye on this one.
Chungungo (Lontra felina) pic.twitter.com/SSkeR2Qth6— Moisés Gallo Ávalos (@moisesgallo) January 7, 2021
Pingüino de Humboldt (Spheniscus humboldti) pic.twitter.com/n5dskMkHgT— Moisés Gallo Ávalos (@moisesgallo) January 7, 2021
Our first proper fish, we have the Bilagay or Peruvian morwong (Cheilodactylus variegatus). As I mentioned before, our fish aren’t known for being colorful but for being tasty. I haven’t tried this one in particular because it looks spiney, but it’s become very bougie down here.
Bilagay (Cheilodactylus variegatus) pic.twitter.com/VzRsjec9gv— Moisés Gallo Ávalos (@moisesgallo) January 7, 2021
Our first maritime bird is the Cormorán yeco or Neotropic cormorant (Phalacrocorax brasilianus), endemic to the Americas south of the Rio Grande. These birds can also be found all the way up on Lake Titicaca, where the Uru people have domesticated them for fishing.
Cormorán yeco (Phalacrocorax brasilianus) pic.twitter.com/V9sHbtAiox— Moisés Gallo Ávalos (@moisesgallo) January 7, 2021
This is the Zebra Snail, or Echinolittorina peruviana, non edible. If you’re wondering why two species on this list have ‘Peru’ in their scientific name, of course it’s because most these creatures occur there. And also because we took hundreds of miles of coastline from them in the 19th Century.
Caracol cebra (Echinolittorina peruviana) pic.twitter.com/XQR3nVuSak— Moisés Gallo Ávalos (@moisesgallo) January 7, 2021
Our second bird for today is the Gaviota Garuma or Grey Seagull (Leucophaeus modestus) endowed with plumage in stunning shades of grey that would be the envy of any Nordic minimalist designer. Curiously enough, this species mates and reproduces in the Atacama Desert, dozens of miles away from the coast, in the world’s driest desert. Hey, biodiversity and species sustainability is a fragile thing, so if the desert does it for them, go get your rocks off.
Gaviota garuma (Leucophaeus modestus) pic.twitter.com/oRe1wc9AfS— Moisés Gallo Ávalos (@moisesgallo) January 7, 2021
Here is a male Pejeperro, also called Chilean sheepshead wrasse (Semicossyphus darwini), a kelp forest dweller. Pejeperro, by the way, literally means Fishdog, and it wouldn’t be the only Chilean fish species that got a very matter-of-fact, dry common name.
Pejeperro (Semicossyphus darwini) macho pic.twitter.com/ZUxyREzvmC— Moisés Gallo Ávalos (@moisesgallo) January 7, 2021
Here is the female of the same species:
Pejeperro (Semicossyphus darwini) hembra pic.twitter.com/9GTv8A7yub— Moisés Gallo Ávalos (@moisesgallo) January 7, 2021
And we finish with the Jaiva Corredora or purple rock crab (Leptograpsus variegatus), common throughout the Southern Pacific.
Jaiba corredora (Leptograpsus variegatus) pic.twitter.com/zW8zy70GFd— Moisés Gallo Ávalos (@moisesgallo) January 7, 2021
This concludes our lesson, that never actually started as a lesson and most definitely didn’t have a pedagogical goal at the outset. Hope you learned something. If you speak Spanish, I highly recommend following Moisés for matters relating to sea conservationism and political environmentalism at the NGO he works at, Lamara. If you don’t speak Spanish, I might come back around this another day, because reading his RTs I’ve begun to discover that Seaspiracy might have made more than a few blunders.
Header Image Source: Getty Images