‘A remarkable and powerful book, the rarest of things … Nicolson is unique as a writer … I loved it’ EDMUND DE WAAL
‘Miraculous … An utterly fascinating glimpse of a watery world we only thought we knew’ PHILIP HOARE
Few places are as familiar as the shore – and few as full of mystery and surprise.
How do sandhoppers inherit an inbuilt compass from their parents? How do crabs understand the tides? How can the death of one winkle guarantee the lives of its companions? What does a prawn know?
In The Sea is Not Made of Water, Adam Nicolson explores the natural wonders of the intertidal and our long human relationship with it. The physics of the seas, the biology of anemone and limpet, the long history of the earth, and the stories we tell of those who have lived here: all interconnect in this zone where the philosopher, scientist and poet can meet and find meaning.
In this blend of fascinating, surprising ecology and luminous human history, Adam Nicolson gives an invitation to the shoreline. Anyone who chooses can look beyond their own reflection and find the marvellous there, waiting an inch beneath their nose.