Barnacles and Whales

There are many barnacles. There are only a few whales. Barnacles live by filtering the water for food. Their life is one of probabilities -if you see a barnacle, you know the water is rich with microscopic food. No barnacles, no food. They grow where they plant themselves and their fate is tied to their location. When they breed, they release trillions of eggs, adding to the richness of the zooplanktonic mass. Baleen whales eat the same food as barnacles but seek out nutrient rich waters to sustain themselves. They are few in number, birth one whale at a time, and live to decades. Ironically, the surface of a whale is a kind of paradise for those fortunate barnacles that latch on. Their waters are constantly optimized for food, allowing them to multiply. Over time, they slow the whale down due to hydrodynamic drag. Eventually, they kill their host and home by obstructing the blowhole. The barnacle knows not what it does, and cannot be expected to love the whale or express any regret over the state of the world. The whale in turn compensates by swimming harder, breathing harder, but eventually, it succumbs to its fate, and cannot be expected to hate the barnacle nor feel sorry about all of its labors and efforts coming to this end. Nature provides for both barnacle and whale, giving each a lifetime suited to its fate.

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