I’m thinking (as I browse travel sites from ThirstyInSuburbia’s cold-gripped Midwest HQ) how people naturally seek out bodies of water. We are hopelessly drawn to it. Look at any map and note how the population clusters along oceans, rivers, coastlines or lakes. Is it part of our human nature to seek out bodies of water?
Nature or nurture? Theorized by neuroscientist Michael Crawford, our attraction to water represents another element of human evolution.
The University of North London researcher has proposed that our ancient ancestors were devotees of the sea, and that their diets were a factor in the evolution of the human’s large and complex brain. Form a 2007 article that I missed on livescience.com,
Crawford claims that when humans separated from apes and emerged from the forests of Africa, they stuck close to rivers and beaches and started feasting on fish, clams and crabs. That marine diet was packed with omega-3 fatty acids, essential fatty acids that promote brain cell growth.
It’s no coincidence, Crawford claims, that human brain growth began to increase exponentially once we left the woods and headed for the beach.
Maybe that’s our cue/excuse to pack up our big brains and small bathing suits and head for the water. Mare proluit omnia mortalium mala!
Vintage postcard “Bathing in Lagoon, Long Beach, CA from riptheskull on Flickr, thanks!