Marine biology is a field of study that has drawn in many people over the years because of its intoxicating allure. The study of salt water organisms, a career in marine biology means exploring the world underneath the ocean and other bodies of water. However, much like any other career, marine biology is not without its risks, ranging from underwater dangers to accidents in the lab or exposure to marine wildlife.
While attacks by large fish such as sharks are rare, marine life does pose dangers. Certain creatures such as jellyfish or stingrays are poisonous to humans. While approaching them with caution and knowing how to handle them can help you avoid harm, accidents can happen. Just as when working with land animals, there is always some form of danger when working with nature and its various children.
Weather can be a concern for marine biologists, especially if you are in a part of the world where extreme changes in the weather can occur within a short period of time. Hurricanes and typhoons can cause dangerous circumstances, such as when your headquarters is based on a boat or a water-based platform. Knowing how to react in these situations is paramount to your safety when on the job.
Working as a marine biologist means that sometimes you may be asked to take on a contract or work for an employer in a remote part of the world. In these cases, medical emergencies can potentially turn into life-threatening situations, such as when working on a sea-based platform, on a boat several days away from land, or on a submarine or other type of submersible vehicle that is in some way cut off from hospitals and other medical facilities.
Numerous risks are associated with diving, and as a marine biologist you could be spending a significant portion of your time under the water. Underwater injuries, decompression sickness (otherwise known as the bends), arterial gas embolisms and pressure arrhythmias are all things that can affect divers under the water, so if you plan on diving during your marine career you need to undertake the proper training to avoid injuries.
Working in a laboratory means potentially exposing yourself to dangerous chemicals, poisonous marine creatures or byproducts. Certain chemicals can react in catastrophic ways under the right conditions. Proper training in laboratory protocol can help you avoid exposure to harmful substances, but there is always some level of risk.
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