High-res UK’s Deep Sea Mountain Life Filmed
by Victoria Gill, BBC
Scientists have sent a remotely operated vehicle to film one of the UK’s three undersea mountains, known as seamounts.
The Hebrides Terrace Seamount, off the west coast of Scotland, is higher than Ben Nevis, but its peak is 1,000m beneath the surface.
Prof J Murray Roberts, from Heriot-Watt University, and his colleagues filmed more than 100 species on its slopes.
They published their findings in the open access journal Scientific Reports.
Prof Roberts has now shared the footage from the dive exclusively with the BBC.
He and his team used a remotely operated submersible vehicle to explore and film the aquatic mountain slopes.
"These are vast structures in the ocean," Prof Roberts explained to the BBC.
"They’re exciting because they grow up through the ocean and have steep sloping sides. [When] the currents hit the sides of the seamount and they stir up nutrients, they become really productive areas."
Prof Roberts and his colleagues watched from a ship-based laboratory while their rover explored the depths.
Read more at original post on BBC News

UK’s Deep Sea Mountain Life Filmed

by Victoria Gill, BBC

Scientists have sent a remotely operated vehicle to film one of the UK’s three undersea mountains, known as seamounts.

The Hebrides Terrace Seamount, off the west coast of Scotland, is higher than Ben Nevis, but its peak is 1,000m beneath the surface.

Prof J Murray Roberts, from Heriot-Watt University, and his colleagues filmed more than 100 species on its slopes.

They published their findings in the open access journal Scientific Reports.

Prof Roberts has now shared the footage from the dive exclusively with the BBC.

He and his team used a remotely operated submersible vehicle to explore and film the aquatic mountain slopes.

"These are vast structures in the ocean," Prof Roberts explained to the BBC.

"They’re exciting because they grow up through the ocean and have steep sloping sides. [When] the currents hit the sides of the seamount and they stir up nutrients, they become really productive areas."

Prof Roberts and his colleagues watched from a ship-based laboratory while their rover explored the depths.

Read more at original post on BBC News

rhamphotheca:

First Video of Living and Enormous Deep Sea Crustacean

Well, enormous for an Amphipod…

by Sandrine Ceurstemont

Living in one of the Earth’s deepest ocean trenches, the world’s largest species of amphipod has so far managed to avoid the videos of the paparazzi. But during an expedition to the Kermadec trench off the coast of New Zealand in April, Alan Jamieson from the University of Aberdeen, UK, and his colleagues filmed a living Alicella gigantean for the first time, more than 7 kilometres below the ocean surface.

The video captures a feeding frenzy of deep-sea snailfish, Notoliparis kermadecensis sociable fish that are well-adapted to the extreme pressure, total darkness and cold temperatures at such depths.

Cruising along the left-hand side of the video, the white shrimp-like creature is the newly spotted Alicella gigantea. It is between 20 and 25 centimetres long, 10 times larger than similar amphipods discovered in other deep-sea locations – although Jamieson previously snapped, but did not video, an even bigger one – a 34-centimetre giant…

(read more: New Scientist)

The deep sea is simultaneously and equally creepy and cool. 

(via ichthyologist)

Octopus Sex at Hydrothermal Vents

deepseanews:

In the video below, deep-sea octopus expert Janet Voight with the Field Museum, discusses sex in octopods focusing on Vulcanoctopus hydrothermalis. This ghostly looking octopus is only known from hydrothermal vents at 2600-2650m on the East Pacific Rise at 13 degrees north. The ethereal appearance comes from a combination of the eyes being reduced and … → Read More: Octopus Sex at Hydrothermal Ventsimage http://dlvr.it/44qrq0

This is awesome. Watch the video.

Just on one arm? Or all the arms

High-res 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.

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.

  • BBC

Deepest Ocean Teems With Microbes

by Rebecca Morelle

BBC World Science.

[Image Source]

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.”

[Image Source]

Carbon sink

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. 

  • BBC

jtotheizzoe:

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.

Check out more at io9.

Giant Squid Linkfest by Dr. M

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.

First the background on the video

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.

Want to see a hint of what Discovery Channel might reveal?

Here’s my post (Giant Squid=Awesomesauce) that will give you everything you want to know about giant squids.

And of course not only is Discovery continuing on with the Monster terminology but so are others.  Read here on why this pisses me off.

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

How do you get a giant squid?  With a big lighted lure apparently.  Here is old video from National Geographic 

about using bioluminescence to attract a giant squid.

And finally what about some photographs of a sperm whale eating a giant squid?

Source: Dr. M from Deep Sea News