Yes – a plankton net! Who would have thought? Our family LOVES the great outdoors, but I’ve never seen anything as clever as this GeoSafari Plankton Net!! This incredibly awesome net can be used in BOTH freshwater AND saltwater! Knowing this we decided to do a month-long project with it and use it not only in the ocean off the coast of Florida but also up north in Lake Michigan on our road trip.
The plankton net sports sturdy easy-to-use handles, a loop to attach a rope to if you need, and a long net which has a plastic bottle attached to the end in order to “catch” the plankton. This bottle also has a screw-on lid so that you can actually keep your plankton.
The bottle screws onto the end of the net, and easily unscrews to be kept separately. It also has magnification “bubbles” on it so that you can see your plankton closer. Ok, so I majored in Biology in college. I am a science nut and animal lover. Want to know just how much of a nut I am? In college my other science major friends and I were bored one weekend so we decided to tie some liver on the end of a string and go fishing for planaria……..yeah, I’m a nut! SO when I saw that GeoSafari had a Plankton Net I was thrilled to check it out! After all, I’ve never actually caught plankton before!
It was very simple to use – my 5 year old had no problems using it himself. Just hold the handles on the side of the net, place it in the water, and catch some…well….stuff!
Now, I have grown up in Florida going to the beach my entire life. I know there are fish, seaweed, and all sorts of stuff in the water. But when my son pulled up the plankton net and I saw what was in the bottle I have to admit, I was a little grossed out that I was actually swimming in that same water!
LOOK AT THAT! This was water from the ocean, and that sediment in the bottom is NOT sand from the bottom of the beach. Now there may be sand in there but there is an AWFUL lot of floating stuff! The plankton net comes with a laminated chart of microorganisms but to be honest it was all so small it was difficult for me to recognize anything in our bottle.
So that got me thinking – the ocean had TONS and TONS of critter & junk in it, so how did that compare to freshwater? Would a freshwater lake in a northern state be “cleaner” from critters than the ocean down off the coast of Florida? We packed our GeoSafari Plankton Net in the boys’ suitcase and left for our trip!
So which do YOU THINK had more plankton? The ocean off the coast of Florida or a huge freshwater lake in northern Michigan?
SURPRISINGLY the lake in Michigan had a TON more “junk” and plankton in it! LOOK AT THAT! I was shocked! I always assumed freshwater had less critters and stuff in it but for this experiment with our plankton net the freshwater lake was by far more full of organisms & critters!
I HIGHLY HIGHLY recommend this GeoSafari Plankton Net – it is WAY beyond cool! Although this is not a product you could typically use a ton it makes an incredible learning lesson for both kids and adults. This would make a cool home school or classroom “field trip” to catch plankton and then study it. There were no cons to using this, although we did not try attaching the rope since we could easily wade into the water. My hypothesis was blown out of the water and I certainly was intrigued by our project!
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Disclosure: I was not compensated for this review. I received the above product in order to use and form my own opinions. All opinions are 100% my own. Giveaway is open to US only and will end at 12:01 am est on July 8, 2012. Winner will be chosen randomly and have 48 hours to claim prize.