The Flat Sea Urchin: The Sea Creature That Defies the Ocean's Mighty Waves

One of the primary features of the waves that form in the oceans is that everything they drag away from the shore is eventually returned to the shore by another wave, and this process continues wave after wave. That is why it is impossible for human beings to swim in these giant waves or even stand upright when they strike the shore. A certain resistance is essential in order to resist this effect of waves. Flat sea urchins, a species of sea urchins living in the oceans, are one of those life forms with this glorious resistance to the push and pull power of waves. Flat sea urchins have been perfectly created in such a way as to overcome the lifting effect caused by pressure differences and to neutralize the drag force set up by powerful currents.

Almighty Allah has created sea urchins in different shapes and sizes. Sea urchins are generally spherical, but some are flat, long and thin. This is an example of the enormous variety of Almighty Allah’s creative artistry. Sand dollars, a type of sea urchin that live along the ocean shores in Western India and Northwest America are flat, resembling metal coins in appearance, and cover wide areas of the sea bed. Their most significant feature is the amazing resistance they exhibit to the giant ocean waves and currents on the sea floor. Some of these creatures bury themselves two to ten millimeters down, or even at depths of twenty to thirty millimeters in the area where the ocean waves break. In areas exposed to intense ocean currents, they bury one-third of their bodies in the sand and reduce the effect of the current by lying parallel to it. It is, of course, impossible for a tiny sea urchin to know that reducing the effect of current by lying parallel to it, just like surfers do, or burying themselves in the sand will strengthen their positions. Sea urchins have no intelligence or abilities, and it is Allah Who inspires them to act in the way they do. However, this is by no means the end of sea urchins’ characteristics that make them resistant to the ocean waves. Our Lord has created a great many details, the products of His omniscience, for sea urchins to display their resistance to waves.


Sea Urchins Have Been Created in a Wave-Resistant Shape

Allah, Lord of the Worlds, has created important characteristics inside the sea urchin’s body:  

1.Their Bodies Are Designed to Prevent Them From Being Dragged Along In The Ocean Waves: Allah has created sea urchins to be flat and  slightly domed in the middle, in order to prevent them being dragged along.

2.Their Body Shapes Balance the Lift Force of the Water: Our Lord has created sea urchins with a natural weight belt that balances out the lift force of the water.

3.They Eliminate Pressure Differences: The pressure on the lower surface of these animals is greater than that on the top surface. This sets up a force making it difficult for the sea urchin to cling on to its position. In order to balance out that pressure, Allah has created small channels on the lower surface of the sea urchin’s body. These eliminate the lift force of water by channeling it through them.

4.They Possess a Structural Feature That Allows Them to Increase Their Weight With Materials They Collect From Their Surroundings: Another way of eliminating the effect of lift forces is to be heavy. Since young sea urchins are lighter, they could easily be dragged away. But in order to increase their weight they collect and store grains of sand. As well as these items, they also collect heavy magnetite particles on the sea bed. In addition, as they grow, calcite develops between their upper and lower surfaces. This substance permits tensions on the upper surfaces to be transmitted to the lower, and also serves as a weight. These living things cannot, of course, calculate that collecting grains of sand will increase their weight, or know to select magnetite particles from among the grains of sand on the basis that these are heavier, nor do they know to  accumulate calcite between the upper and lower parts of their bodies all using their own intelligence and will. It is our Almighty Lord who teaches them these details so they can resist the ocean currents. We are told in one verse that:

Allah will give security those who had faith in their victorious Safe Haven. No evil will touch them and they will know no sorrow.

Allah is the Creator of everything and He is Guardian over everything.

The keys of the heavens and earth belong to Him. It is those who reject Allah’s Signs who are the losers.” (Surat az-Zumar, 61-63)

5. Short Spines On Their Bodies Allow Them To Resist the Current:Sea urchins are covered by spines, some two or three millimeters long, which have exceedingly functional properties. Longer spines on their peripheries clear their path, while the spines on the lower part of their bodies enable them to move by clearing sand out of their way.

6. Sea Urchins’ Sharp, Tooth-Like Structures Allow Them To Cling To Hard Surfaces On The Sea Bed: These creatures tooth-like structures possess a very hard and natural filling material. When this structure, made up of calcite crystal layers, is broken and loses sharpness, a new crystalline structure emerges from beneath it.

Sea Urchins Are Manifestations Of Almighty Allah’s Title Of Bedi (He Who Creates without Previous Models)

Our Lord has bestowed many abilities on sea urchins in order to allow them to move with ease beneath the sea, protect themselves and resist the powerful ocean waves. Through the inspiration of Almighty Allah, this tiny living thing is able to resist giant waves that human beings find it impossible to swim or even stand up in, and are even able to take precautionary measures to allow them to do so. 

The features of sea urchins are signs of Allah’s Omniscience. Allah has created all things, those we can see around us and those we cannot, using no previous models in doing so. A flawless system made up of atoms, molecules, cells, living things, planets, stars and galaxies came into being through Allah telling it to, “Be!” at a time when there was no universe, galaxies, planets, living things or even so much as a single cell. Everything, from the micro-world human beings only discovered thousands of years later, to the heavenly bodies they discovered in the 20th Century are all systems created by Allah and are subject to the laws determined by Him. Allah created the universe when no such model existed, along with sea urchins and all the other details within it. Verses reveal how Allah is the creator of all things:

Allah created every animal from water. Some of them go on their bellies, some of them on two legs, and some on four. Allah creates whatever He wills. Allah has power over all things.” (Surat an-Nur, 45)

All the living things on Earth are equipped with countless superior features, from the way they reproduce, to how they protect themselves and the way they feed. However, like all other living things, sea urchins are devoid of the intelligence and consciousness with which to do all these things.

The characteristics and systems possessed by sea urchins are evident proof of a sublime mind and intelligence. This intelligence and perfect harmony displayed in all of nature belong to Allah, the creator of all. Allah reveals His immaculate creation in this verse from the Qur’an:

the Originator of the heavens and earth. When He decides on something, He just says to it, ‘Be!’ and it is.”  (Surat al-Baqara, 117)

The Details in the Sea Urchin Spines

Sharp spines cover the sea urchin’s protective shell. These spines move when the muscles contract, and may be short and thin, or long and pointed. In general, sea urchin spines are one to two  centimeters long and one to two  millimeters thick. These spines are not very sharp. Some species have spines that may reach ten to twenty centimeters in length.  Sea urchins make use of them to feed, protect themselves and move.

Spines That Assist with Movement: There are claw-like structures between the spines that assist with clinging to the sea floor. Allah has created long tubes with suckers at their tips that protrude from the ends of the spines. These work like feet in clinging to the floor. When the sea urchin is in motion, these feet grow longer or shorter as the pressure in the water channels changes. The spines are made to move by means of muscle contraction.

Spines That Are an Important Part of the Defense System: There are two spines on the upper surface of the sea urchin. These are rod-like in shape, with round ends. These round tips prevent grains of sand alighting on the sea urchin, just like a piece of netting. Other spines resemble grains of corn, and these prevent even smaller sand particles accumulating. Because if sand accumulates between these spines, it will be harder for the organelles to function and this will harm the sea urchin.

Despite the presence of these spines in the form of rods and grains of corn, sand particles and organic matter may still slip through between the spines. But strips of cilia bands on the spines set up tiny currents and thus permit these to be cleaned off. Again, in the event of very minute organisms adhering to the spines or accumulating in cavities at the base of the spines, then tiny, mobile pincers that can easily reach each spine clean away all the waste and sand particles. Allah has also created tiny poison sacs in some of these pincers. In this way, Our Lord protects sea urchins from all dangers by the manifestation of His title of Hafiz (He who protects, watches over and preserves).  

Spines That Serve to Find Food: The way sea urchins feed is particularly interesting. Some 150,000 out of one million tube feet look for food. Suckers on the ends of these tiny, tube-like feet trap sand particles and single-celled organisms. Food is passed from one foot to another and eventually to the mouth, where some 5,000 sharp teeth tear it apart.

The single-celled organisms that represent a high-energy food source are diatoms. But when they cannot find diatoms, they feed on the fine organic layers on grains of sand. It is, of course, impossible for sea urchins to work out for themselves that there is a thin organic layer on grains of sand. It is Allah, the Rezzak (He who bestows food and blessings) who inspires them to behave in this way. One verse says:

There is no creature on the earth which is not dependent upon Allah for its provision. He knows where it lives and where it dies. They are all in a Clear Book.” (Surah Hud, 6)

2011-11-14 18:32:26

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