Have you ever asked yourself whether aloneness exists in nature? Completely separated, isolated organisms? The German marine biologist Ernst Haeckel (1834-1919) discovered that even radiolarians – very tiny single-cell marine organisms – are not isolated in their existence but interconnected to other organisms in a magical, touchless, transcendent manner. With this observation, he was among the first to break new ground with the notion of ecosystems.
Considering that he came to this insight during a period in which he lived in complete solitude after the tragic loss of his beloved wife, this story is even more moving. I must admit that I do not understand the biological complexity of the phenomenon he describes to its full extent. However, this story inspired my thinking and my hope that touchless belongingness is possible and makes up part of our nature. Watch this little video to learn about the complex biological insights into radiolarians based on the beautiful original drawings of Ernst Haeckel and read more about this story on the wonderful Brainpickings blog.