Ephemeral things (from Greek "εφήμερος" - "ephemeros", literally "lasting only one day" [ [http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/cgi-bin/ptext?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.04.0057%3Aentry%3D%2345743 Ephemeros] , Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, "A Greek-English Lexicon", at Perseus] ) are transitory, existing only briefly. Typically the term is used to describe objects found in nature, although it can describe a wide range of things.
waterbodyis a wetland, spring, stream, river, pondor lakethat only exists for a short period following precipitation or snowmelt. They are not the same as intermittent or seasonal waterbodies, which exist for longer periods, but not all year round.
Examples of ephemeral streams are the
Ugab Riverin Southern Africa, and a number of small ephemeral watercourses that drain Talakin northern Niger. Other notable ephemeral rivers include the Todd Riverand Sandover Riverin Central Australiaas well as the Son River, Batha Riverand the Trabancos River.
There are also ephemeral islands such as
Banua Wuhuand Home Reef, which reappear and disappear beneath the waves.
Many plants are adapted to an ephemeral lifestyle, in which they spend most of the year or longer as seeds before conditions are right for a brief period of growth and reproduction. The spring ephemeral plant
mouse-ear cressis a well known example. Animals can be ephemeral, with brine shrimpbeing an example.
Ephemeral can also be used as an adjective to refer to a fast-deteriorating importance or temporary nature of an object to a person.
Brandsare notoriously ephemeral assets, and magazinepublishing was once much more ephemeral than it is today.
A number of art forms can be considered ephemeral because of their temporary nature. Early
land artand all sand sculptures, ice sculptures and chalk drawings on footpaths are examples of ephemeral art. G. Augustine Lynasand Duthain Dealbhcreate ephemeral sculptures.
placentais considered an ephemeral organ present during gestationand pregnancy.
A sensation which is felt by a person for a certain period of time before needing replenishment can be referred to as ephemeral. Often, happiness is described as ephemeral, as one does not find it as a permanent state, with human lives always varying shades of happiness and disappointment.
Christine Buci-Glucksmann, Esthetique De L'ephemere, Galilee, ISBN 2718606223
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