Student discovery

Sensory Deprivation and Meditation

How do children learn to be calm? How do they learn to clear their minds? The world is noisy after all, there is a mess in your living room, and your stress levels may be increasing because of this and many more stimuli, like that nagging to do list and annoying co-worker. But let’s take away all of this for a minute and talk about sensory deprivation. After all, it’s a concept that fascinated and inspired Briar. That, and the idea of meditation.

Mayo Clinic says that meditation, even for a few minutes, can help calm you and bring you inner peace. They mention you don’t need special equipment or even to sit still in the dark, you can mediate during a walk, while waiting in line, or even during a frustrating meeting.

So how do you do it? Focus your attention on emptying your mind, taking out the jumble of thoughts that are usually running around your brain. That’s it! In Briar, we aimed to instill these ideas into the story, showing the power that meditation and sensory deprivation has for our humble hero.

Transdifferentiation

Is it possible for a creature to live forever? The answer might surprise you: Yes it is! The Turritopsis dohrnii Jellyfish in the Mediteeranean Sea exhibits such qualities. Much like the mythical phoenix bird, the Turritopsis dohrnii develops from an egg and turns into a polyp. When they face damage or starvation, they revert back into their infant polyp form and are essentially born again. According to the American Museum of Natural History, these amazing creatures have earned themselves the nickname of "Immortal Jellyfish." But what happens if people became immortal? Briar Coats and the Tunnel of Styx shows how wonderful, and dangerous, it could be if we found a way to live forever.

Mangroves

Mangroves are a type of tree that live partially in salty waters, with most of their trunks and leaves above the water line. As the Oceana Organization explain, these trees are important "ecosystem engineers" that provide habitats for other species. The roots themselves collect rich sediments and create an ideal nutrient rich location for life to thrive. These amazing trees can also create whole islands and serve as a buffer for tropical storms. The story of Briar Coats begins on a mangrove island, thousands of years of old, supporting an entire village built into the trees. In some ancient folklore, mangroves have been called the "Tree of Life", credited as a sort of fountain of youth. As climate change threatens us with rising sea level change, researchers in the Science journal recently reported that sea level rises may prove disastrous for these valuable mangrove ecosystems.

Bimini

Bimini is an island in the Bahamas located 50 miles off Florida's coast. According to Ripley's, legend has it that Bimini road, lying 18 feet under the sea off the island, is the road to the lost city of Alantis! But Bimini is wrapped in even more folklore, as the island is believed to be the location of the fabled "Fountain of Youth", according to History Channel. Drawing on these ancient fables, in Briar Coats and the Tunnel of Styx, Briar finds himself transformed into an eternal being, after a deep meditation and long travels through the Bimini waters of a Mangrove forest.