Category: Deep Sea

Underwater Fact 147

One look at a vampire squid, and you’d think it was the product of a cheesy horror/sci-fi movie. Vampyroteuthis infernalis (meaning “vampire squid from hell”) is the sole living member in the Order Vampyromorphida, and shares characteristics of both octopuses (Order Octopoda) and squids (Order Teuthida).

Vampire Squid   © National Geographic

This species first appeared around 300 million years ago and has changed very little since then, making it a living fossil that may represent an ancestral line between octopuses and squids.
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Underwater Fact 140

It is a common known fact that noise travels about five times more quickly in the sea. But did you know that there are conditions where sound can travel similar to light in a fiber-optic cable?

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Underwater Fact 137

In early 2014 researchers have recorded a Cuvier’s Beaked Whale diving for over two hours into the depths of just under 3000 meters (nearly two miles) below the ocean surface, which represents both the deepest and the longest dive ever documented for any marine mammal.

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Underwater Fact 136

Cephalopods are incredibly evolved creatures: The Giant Squid has three hearts that pump blue blood. Food travels through its brain before reaching the stomach and they utilise floating bones to detect gravitation for orientation in the dark.

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Underwater Fact 114

Siphonophores are marine invertebrates that look like a single organism but actually consist of a colony of many individual animals.

Portuguese Man of War   ©  Magnus Lundgren

Some siphonophora superficially resemble jellyfish, like the best known species of this kind:
The dangerous Portuguese Man o’ War.
Others form one of the longest animals in the world, reaching up to 50 metres in length.

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Underwater Fact 103

A Predatory tunicate looks like a jellyfish that has taken the form of a Venus flytrap in the deep.
But there is a lot more to it.

Predatory Tunicate   © Monterey Bay Aquarium

Predatory tunicates (Megalodicopia hians) are carnivorous invertebrates that live anchored along canyon walls 200 to 1000 meters in the deep sea. Its open hood is constantly waiting for tiny animals like zooplankton to swim by, so it can rapidly close it to trap the prey inside.

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A Narwhal’s tusk protrudes out the left side of the upper jaw, which forms of a left-sided corkscrew and can be as long as 3 meters.

Narwhals   © Paul Nicklen

Narwhals (Monodon monoceros) are cetaceans that live year-round in the Arctic circle.
They feed in deep bays and inlets, where they find a good supply of Arctic cod, squid, and other food such as flatfish, pelagic shrimp, and cephalapods.

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One hundred years ago, the Titanic sank 3.800 meters into the deep.

It took over 70 years for the wreck to be discovered by ocean explorer Robert Ballard. Since then it has faced many research explorations, tourism and natural erosion due to metal eating bacteria.

The explorer himself wants to invest in a new coat of paint applied by deep sea robots to protect the historical wreck.

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Underwater Fact 89

Firefly Squids grow only 8cm long but attract a lot of attention when they glow in the dark.

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Benthos is the community of organisms which live on, in, or near the seabed, also known as the benthic zone.

This community lives in or near marine sedimentary environments, from tidal pools along the foreshore, out to the continental shelf, and then down to the abyssal depths.

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