There must be at least a kid in every elementary class who was fascinated with the natural, scientific world who must have thought to himself “I must be a scientist when I grow up”. Sure, it is a noble and exciting ambition, but wait until the same kid finds himself being trained to grow old in a laboratory, that’s not so exciting at all, is it? But it does not necessarily have to be that way all the time. Some brilliant scientists get to make new discoveries, experience extreme weather conditions, and even get to be a part of a team making history. You need examples, you say? Here are just some that will make you want to say, “I want in!”
If you love the sea, exploring caves in all corners and discovering the stories behind these, then you can be a cave diver! Caves can be intriguing, which could also offer insight on the ecology of islands, fossils of creatures that once inhabited it, and a record of the planet’s ancient climate. Much can be learned about caves and if you are one to venture into sinkholes that form deep, underwater caves, spelunking and much excitement, you are going to have endless hours looking at magnificent rock and ceiling formations that are a product of millions of years.
Scuba divers slash scientists now can eliminate the equally dangerous rapid climb from the ocean floor to the surface by having the option to stay in Aquarius, a trailer set up for divers to study the nearby reefs off the Florida coast. It is like living in a bubble of air where a diver can stay for up to two weeks. It is not exactly a cozy place because ear and skin infections can easily be picked up and the body is usually always damp.
Some people do get fascinated with venom. And they milk it for a living. You can count on scientists who study venoms to take on extreme measures to extract it, even facing the deadliest snakes, sharks and lizards. It is not easy though, a scientist has to find and gather many snakes to get an ample amount of venom but it is the venom milker who has to take the creatures out of their enclosures one by one to press their fangs against a plastic plate while massaging their glands. Most milkers have already been bitten, some reports claim to be two dozen times.
At one point or another, being an astronaut has been glamorized by our obsession about space. In reality though, astronauts are trained to endure the harshest environments, exposing themselves to UV rays, the risk of dying in-flight and even space dementia. Even back on Earth, they face the risk of muscle atrophy and weakened bones due to immersion in a low-gravity environment for long periods. They all do this in the name of space, generally in the name of science.
Just because a scientist is cooped up in the lab does not mean that he or she is already safe from certain dangers. Due to critical errors, laboratory accidents can occur such as burns, electrocutions and these cases sometimes result in death. Injuries are also caused by highly toxic or flammable substances, powerful magnets and other high impact conditions.
Nobody wants to be in the way of a storm approaching, unless you are an official storm chaser, that is. These are brave souls running towards nature’s wrath to install wind and pressure sensors as close to the storms as possible. There are possibilities of tornadoes, lightning strikes, and all sorts of natural occurrences that does not distinguish based on age or gender.
You wonder if crocs need a psychologist, and these scientists say the job is not for the passive and faint-hearted. These scientists need to journey to croc-infested waters, surround them, rope them and let them struggle to exhaustion before towing them on shore. After the research, the crocodiles are free to go back to their water habitat, but not all crocodiles can be as cooperative because to treat reptiles especially crocodiles as pets is a very tough job. Even crocodiles can decide to turn around and head towards camp. This job requires a lot of bravery and patience too.
Scientists may be eccentrics sometimes, but in exchange of putting their lives in turmoil, they get to see action and adventure too, that’s in the name of science.