As I watched, mesmerized, this mass of crustaceans became a living brick-red raft, writhing on top of the water’s surface. The water became disturbed as thousands of krill flipped their muscular tails and leaped clear of the water, falling back like a shower of pink raindrops.

So begins the journey that cemented Stephen Nicol’s passion for krill. Now, after studying the crustacean for nearly 40 years, Nicol wants us to know more about this enigmatic and vitally important creature of the sea. In The Curious Life of Krill, he debunks the myth that krill are simply microscopic whale food and immerses readers in a dark and icy world full of wonder and surprises. Written by one of the world’s leading krill scientists, The Curious Life of Krill is a joyful account of a species we have much to learn from, and many reasons to protect.

Read Chapter 1: Oceans of Krill below.