No matter who you are, where you come from or what your experiences are – the ocean is a wonder. Endless water stretching out ahead of you breathes a sense of calmness into life, has the ability to drown out any external (or internal) sound, clutter or white noise and really bring a sense of peace to your world. Staring at the water inspire a sense of infinite possibilities, as opposed to the finite sense of looking at land.

Despite humans knowing and feeling this since we began, the actual neurological effects that the ocean has on us is a rarely studied topic – surprising, maybe?

Recently though, there has been more interest in the area of study with the results being, well, not that surprising – linking our brains to the waters connection to our body, mind, evolution, and senses.


The Whitsundays, 2013

In San Francisco, 2011 a small group of scientists and neurologists converged to discuss. headed by Dr J. Nichols, a noted sea turtle biologist the Bluemind Summit raised some interesting insights and findings.

Among the connections considered were the similarity in chemical composition of the brain, body water and seawater, and the physical similarity of the flat expansive sea and the flat grasslands.

“The neuroscientists haven’t thought about the ocean, remarkably,” Nichols said during an interview at the Cliff House overlooking the Pacific in San Francisco. “Considering the ocean is three-quarters of the planet, it’s kind of a big miss.”

Life begins in ocean, all life arose from the ocean, said Philippe Goldin, a neuroscientist and clinical psychologist from Stanford University who spoke at the event.

“There’s no lack of clarity that we came from the ocean,” he said. “Seventy percent of my body is saltwater. My brain is bathed in saltwater. Even neurons fire because of salt level changes in the brain. Even though we rationally know saltwater isn’t drinkable, the abundance is nonetheless comforting.”


Nice, France – 2012

I tend to think that, even without the science looking into our quiet obsession with the ocean and it’s effect on the brain we all inherently understand it.

It might be different for me, having lived by the sea all my life, but I’ve really only understood it’s effect the past year after moving just a few streets away from the beach. Spending just a few minutes (often much more) at the beach, or on teh cliff overlooking the Pacific has given me – as cliche’d sa it may sound – a real sense of peace and zen in my every day life. I find my work to be less stressful, and my brain to handle worry and concerns more succinctly. I’m not really the meditating type, but i think that just staring into the endless blue for a few minutes really enables a slight departure from everything going on around me.

And, for those of you who live inland – I truly believe that even pictures of the ocean can have some of the same effect.