I have a romance with historical exploration. In 1898, the steamship Valdivia left Germany on a voyage to explore the deep sea. Professor Carl Chum lead this voyage of discovery and contributed to many publications based on his scientific adventure.
Although the possibility of aliens from other planets is exciting I often find things right here on earth strange, bizarre, and fascinating. Why not explore the nature of what we already know to exist (or to have once existed like dinosaurs). I know so little... and there's so much to explore.
Cephalopoda image from BibliOdyssey, an awesome historical resource blog on a wide array of obscura.