Dive Into An Ocean Trench
I’ve posted about this incredible infographic before, and it’s still awesome enough to warrant talking about it, again.
Take a dive down to 11,000m with the BBC’s interactive interactive with photos, videos and heaps of information about the different ‘zones’ in our oceans.
Icy cold, pitch black and with crushing pressures - the deepest part of the ocean is one of the most hostile places on the planet. Only three explorers have made the epic journey there: 11km (seven miles) down to the bottom of the Pacific Ocean’s Mariana Trench. As a new wave of deep-sea exploration begins, take a look at the mysterious world that they will be plunging into.
So go knock yourselves out: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-17013285.
by Rebecca Morelle
BBC World Science.
The deepest place in the ocean is teeming with microscopic life, a study suggests.
An international team of scientists found that the very bottom of the Mariana Trench, which lies almost 11km (7 miles) down in the Pacific Ocean, had high levels of microbial activity.
The research is published in the journal Nature Geoscience.
The underwater canyon was once thought to be too hostile an environment for life to exist.
But this study adds to a growing body of evidence that a range of creatures can cope with the near-freezing temperatures, immense pressures and complete darkness.
Dr Robert Turnewitsch, one of the authors of the paper from the Scottish Association for Marine Science, said: “The deepest parts of the deep sea are certainly not dead zones.”
In 2010, the scientists sent an unmanned submersible down into the vast underwater canyon, where it collected samples of the murky sediment that cakes the sea floor.
An analysis of the levels of oxygen in the sample revealed the presence of a large number of microbes.
Dr Turnewitsch explained: “These microbes, they respire as we do. And this oxygen consumption is an indirect measurement of the activity of the community.”
Surprisingly, these primitive, single-celled organisms were twice as active at the bottom of the trench than they were at a nearby 6km-deep (four miles) site.
They were feasting on a plentiful supply of dead plants and creatures that had drifted down from the sea surface, the decomposing matter becoming trapped within the steep walls of the trench.
“The amount of food down there and also the relative freshness of the material is surprisingly high - it seems to be surprisingly nutritious,” said Dr Turnewitsch.
The level of material found at the bottom of the trench was so high that it suggests the Mariana Trench - which is in an area of the ocean known as the Hadal zone - could play a key part in the carbon cycle and therefore in regulating the planet’s climate.
Dr Richard Turnewitsch said: “The fact that large amounts of organic matter that contain the carbon accumulate and are focused in these trenches also means they play an important role in the removal of carbon from the ocean and the overlying atmosphere.
“The Hadal trenches may play a more important role in the global marine carbon cycle than was previously thought.”
— You know, we forget. This life is all about the microbes. Always.
Life, 5 kilometers beneath the ocean
Scientists recently sent robotic submersibles down to the deepest hydrothermal vent ever studied, a warm oasis in the cold, dark depths of the ocean. Here’s a few photos of what they found there, pale white, blind and uniquely adapted to a life without light.
Another reminder that everywhere we look for life on Earth, we find it.
To get you prepped for the large unleashing of Discovery Channel’s Looking for the Giant Squid this Sunday below is all the required reading.
The giant squid has been captured on video in its natural habitat for the first time ever. This long-sought after footage — considered by many to be the Holy Grail of natural history filmmaking — will be revealed by Discovery Channel and NHK in January 2013…This massive predator has always been shrouded in secrecy, and every attempt to capture a live giant squid on camera in its natural habitat has failed. Until now. Mankind finally confronts the greatest mystery of the deep as the first-ever footage of a live giant squid in its natural habitat is revealed in Discovery Channel’s Monster Squid: The Giant Is Real, which premieres on Sunday, January 27, 2013 at 10/9c as the season finale of Curiosity. NHK will air their special on the first-ever footage of the giant squid in early January 2013.
Also read over my post to understand this video in the context of other recent encounters with giant squid.
Here’s my post (Giant Squid=Awesomesauce) that will give you everything you want to know about giant squids.
Arikia Millikin provides some background on this amazing event (and of course I would shamelessly plug it as I’m mentioned relatively early on). Best quote is Steve O’Shea stating “we all have to be a little bit crazy to do this”
Every wonder why of all the ocean’s creatures we picked the giant squid to grace our banner and brand the DSN media empire? In this post, I detail out why giant squids should be a emblem for marine conservation. “What is the emblematic species of the ocean that will serve to energize and unite us?”
Brian Switek provides some perspective on the balance between the actual giant squid and the images invoked when culturally reference them
about using bioluminescence to attract a giant squid.
This Deep Sea Alien Worm, Tomopteris, Is Utterly Captivating
I would love to know the source, amazing!
This bizarre yet fascinating creature, conveniently called “Squid Worm” was discovered in depths exceeding 2500 meters below the surface of the ocean in the Far East. Not much is known is about its ecology, however it is believed that it mainly feeds on the remains of dead microorganisms that sediment on the bottom of the ocean floor as “marine snow”.
more info xxxx
First Ever Images of Deep Sea Squid Mating
This pair of mating Pholidoteuthis adami squid was observed by ROV Little Hercules on April 13 2012 at a depth of 1400 meters during an expedition by NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer in the northern Gulf of Mexico. The male is upside down, and backwards on top of the female and the terminal organ ()presumably the white elongated structure) is extending from his funnel , presumably releasing spermatophores, from which spermatangia burrow into the dorsal mantle tissue of the female. The male has a firm grip on the female with at least three pairs of his arms…
(read more: Smithsonian)
(Image courtesy NOAA Okeanos Explorer Program)
“In the first stage the soft tissues of the carcass are removed by scavengers, such as sharks, lampreys, and dozens of other species of invertebrates and vertebrates, capable of removing up to 60 kg per day of soft tissues.”
Text is a slightly edited Google translation of the source.
The dumbo octopod (Grimpotheuthis sp.) is a fascinating animal! Its large ear-like fins help to propel it through deep ocean waters and hover over the ocean floor to look for food.
Watch some rare video of it swimming at 6,600 feet - http://ocean.si.edu/ocean-videos/oceanportal-dumbo-octopusmov
(via: Smithsonian Ocean Portal) (photo: ©1999 MBARI)
This strange-looking deep sea harp sponge is carnivorous!Typically, sponges feed by straining bacteria and bits of organic material from the seawater they filter through their bodies. However, carnivorous harp sponges snare their prey—tiny crustaceans—with barbed hooks that cover the sponge’s branching limbs. Once the harp sponge has its prey in its clutches, it envelops the animal in a thin membrane, and then slowly begins to digest it.
Photo: Courtesy of MBARI