Setting Thesaurus Entry: Ocean/Sea Bed


sand, shells, sea cucumber, coral (brain, staghorn, sea fan, sea whip), rocks, fish (tuna, cod, swordfish, clown fish, salmon, blow fish, sunfish, sailfish, marlin, grouper) octopus, crabs, clams, conch shells, sea horses, plankton, sand flats, gravel, shoal bottoms, sea grass, eels, lobster, manta rays, sharks, shipwrecks, sea sponge, anemones, prawns, algae, star fish, old netting, timbers, ship debris, tires, bottles, trash, seaweed, sea snails, turtles, sea snakes, whales, sea glass, dolphins, barracuda, squid, jelly fish, sea urchins, scum, fish carcasses, ruined exoskeleton of crabs and lobsters, lobster/shrimp/crab traps, divers, snorkelers, boat bottoms, air bubbles, sunlight shadows, caves, caverns, currents, boat wake trails, garbage collections, barnacles, ledges, cracks, crevices, rope lines, rusted chain, anchors, octopus


Breathing through a tube, whale calls, the hiss of air, air bubbles


Canned air, rubber, sealant on the mask, sweat


Metallic oxygen, spit, salt water, brine


The feel of water against the skin and wet suit, air bubbles tickling the skin, hair rising up from the scalp, waving in the water, running fingers through the sand, brushing against coral or rock, fins knocking into solid objects (sea bed, shipwrecks, other divers, rock, fish), fish brushing against hands or body, water currents pushing at the body, skimming hand over a turtle shell, reaching down to pick up a shell or piece of debris, adjusting hoses or air flow on a tank, making sweeps with fins, steering with arms, pulling self along the ocean floor by touching debris, floating with the current or swimming against it, long sweeps of the arms as you go to surface, kicking feet to propel yourself forward, straps rubbing at the back of the head and sides of the face, heavy gear & tank pulling at shoulder blades, brushing at the sand to see an object, or fanning the water close to the sea floor to use it to dislodge sand, swimming backwards to move away from a danger (sharks, barracudas, octopus, jelly fish, etc), swimming through portholes/doors of abandoned ships,

Helpful hints:

--The words you choose can convey atmosphere and mood.

Example 1:

Donna didn't know where to look first. Schools of neon blue fish danced in the water currents, lacy fans of purple coral waved as clown fish chased each other around the stems. A rusty crab scuttled across the sand, startling a slumbering manta ray, which took off in a puff of white sand. Here in the quiet sea she felt like God had set up a private show just for her.

Example 2:

My heartbeat roars in my ears as I yank and twist at my foot, trying to not scrape my skin--the last thing I need is blood in the water. God, how did this happen? Only a minute ago I'd been leaning over the rock formation to grab that shot of the jellyfish and now my foot is buried by loose rock. Gulping at my oxygen, I jerk my head from left to right, trying to spot another diver, praying someone will find me before something larger and more dangerous does.

--Similes and metaphors create strong imagery when used sparingly.

Example 1: (Simile)

Sophie screamed into her snorkel; dozens of tiny fish squirmed against her, snacking on the decorative sequins on her swimsuit like some glittering buffet.

Example 2: (Metaphor)

A dark shadow slid over me and I looked up to a wall of gray flesh--a humpback whale passing between me and the surface.

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Bish Denham said...

There are lots of different colored fish, parrot, damsels, etc. I'd be here days listing them all :O

But there is a sound you can hear when you stick your head under the water. There is a crinkling crackling clicking clacking sound that is continuous and always present. It is the sound of sand and rocks being shifted, rolled, tumbled and moved by ocean.

You can also hear boat propellers/engines.

Liana Brooks said...

I'll add a bit...

The first color you lose underwater is red, so blood looks greenish 20 feet down and most red fish show up green or black. So unless you have a light shining you won't see red.

At night you get bioluminescent algae that can make the waves glow or show up like stars in the water.

When SCUBA diving what you taste is your mouth and maybe the breather. The mouth can get dry and some people chew starbursts or candy to compensate (on the boat usually).

There's also the sound of the anchor chain moving in the current - metal scraping metal. And the sound of someone banging a dive tank. Some fish chirp or click.

Angela said...

Mucho thanks, Guys--these are awesome additions. I've done lots of snorkeling, but no deep sea diving. Interesting about the red Liana--i did not know that. I guess I've never been deep enough. :-)

WordWrangler said...

OOOOOH! This is PERFECT for me right now. I've been working on a ocean/summer poem for a couple of days and this is JUST what I needed.

You guys are great!


Erica said...

This is great. I wish I were by one right now. *sigh*


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