in and on the DEEP SEA

Updated 21 JUNE 2022

Congratulations to all presenters at the
e-DeepSea Biology Symposium
Aug. 19-21, 2020!

See also: Craig McClain's
Deep-Sea News

MY DEEP-SEA SITE at, dedicated to
marine conservation, education, research and a sea ethic.

2022 News: The most recent items--21 June 2022 --are at end of list:
  1. Jan.: World's largest fish breeding ground found in deep Antarctic waters--colony of icefish covering an area the size of Malta. See here also.
  2. Jan.: NASA is exploring Earth's deepest oceans to gain insight into possibilities on other planets.
  3. Jan.: Young bigfin squid -- possibly the world's deepest dwelling squid -- spotted at 6000m near the Philippines.
  4. Jan.: Deep-sea anglerfish may be both bioluminescent and biofluorescent
  5. Jan.: "Psychedelic" Crossata jellies filmed in the deep sea in Monterey Bay. Another new species of jelly was described and filmed as well.
  6. Feb.: Rare baby chimaera (holocephalan "ghost shark") found off New Zealand
  7. Mar.: Eye and photophore sizes of deep-sea shrimp correlate with habitat and behavior
  8. Mar.: Carbon transfer to the deep predicted with microbes that attach to sinking organic particles
  9. Mar.: Deep-sea strawberry squid has 2 different eyes: a large one to look for silhouettes above and a small one to look for bioluminescence below.
  10. Mar.: Deep-sea octopods found depositing eggs in warm seeps off California to speed up hatching.
  11. Mar.: MBARI reveals new deep-sea life exhibit 5 years in the making
  12. Mar.: Mutualism between microbes and hydrothermal-vent squat lobsters analyzed in detail
  13. Apr: More evidence that the deep sea is warming due to climate change presented
  14. May: A new analysis of deep-sea gigantism published
  15. May: Update on MBARI's new deep-sea exhibit (from #11 above), and a video of the rare deep-sea highfin dragonfish
  16. May: An unknown species of sea cucumber--translucent with bright orange organs--filmed off Hawai'i.
  17. June: Climate change threatens deep cold-water corals through food loss
  18. June: Deep-sea pipeline increases biodiversity and traps litter
  19. June: Deep-sea shipwrecks increase microbial diversity
2021 News: The most recent items-- 31 DEC. 2021 --are at end of list:
  1. Jan.: The first comprehensive study of Coral Reefs of the High Seas documents over 116 deep-sea coral reefs and calls for better marine protection
  2. Jan.: Red yeast from sediments of the deep Mid-Atlantic Ridge show medicinal properties
  3. Feb.: Huge deep-sea slickhead fish found off Japan, named after elite sumo wrestlers
  4. Feb.: Nocturnal reef fishes have retinas similar to those of deep-sea fishes
  5. Feb.: The 'living fossil" coelacanth fish, found down to about 700 m, has evolved more genetic variation than predicted by incorporating genes of other species.
  6. Mar.: Three bioluminescent deep-sea shark species discovered off New Zealand--one is now the largest known bioluminescent vertebrate! Another link here.
  7. Mar.: Phosphorus, generally a limiting factor in modern oceans, may have been plentiful in the earliest oceans due to hydrothermal vents.
  8. Mar.: New species of deep-sea ctenophore--a unique "2-armed" comb jelly--was filmed but not collected. Can biologists "legally" give it a species name without a specimen?
  9. Mar.: A new soft manta-like robot reaches Mariana Trench bottom. The soft design (built in China) with distributed electronic controls eliminates the need for bulky metal pressure housings. Another article here notes that the design was inspired by the Mariana Trench snailfish that I and my colleagues discovered in 2014.
  10. Mar.: Genomic analyses of a cold-seep clam and its chemoautotrophic bacterial symbionts reveal details of this deep-sea partnership, such as gene transferred from the bacteria to the host clam.
  11. Mar.: A deep-sea basin once used as a toxic waste (DDT) dump off S. California is being surveyed by autonomous robots for future clean-up.
  12. Mar.: Deep-sea bacteria found that human immune systems cannot detect
  13. Apr.: New species of dumbo octopus —  Grimpoteuthis imperatordiscovered in Emperor Seamounts; moreover, for the first time, the new species was described using minimally-invasive methods including genetic sequencing and imaging technologies.
  14. Apr.: Ocean-floor trails indicate that deep-sea Arctic sponges move!
  15. Apr.: Huge variety of deep-sea animal-like protists documented in deep ocean basins.
  16. Apr.: An overview of deep-sea anglerfish includes new work on feeding biomechanics features a former student of mine, Mackenzie Gerringer (SUNY Genesco).
  17. Apr.: Over 25,000 barrels of toxic waste (possibly DDT) located at 900m depth off S. California.
  18. May: Plastic pollution in the deep sea reviewed from a geological perspective.
  19. May: Seamounts as major, but largely unexplored, ecosystems reviewed in Science Focus.
  20. May: Analysis of hadal snailfish genome reveals key trench adaptations including many genes for producing TMAO, the molecule our laboratory has found to help proteins work under high pressure, and that increases in fishes with depth (with the highest levels found in hadal snailfish).
  21. June: Sponges growing on manganese (polymetallic) nodules promote deep-sea biodiversity
  22. June: 8-armed brittle star from a deep New Caledonia seamount has 'pig snout' articulations and an ancient lineage.
  23. June: Coelacanths --deep-sea 'living fossil' fishes related more to land vertebrates than bony fishes--may live over 100 years, and gestation may last up to 5 yrs! Another link HERE.
  24. July: The mysteries of the mesopelagic or 'twilight' zone are discussed by CNN in conjunction with a new Woods Hole's exploration of that zone.
  25. July: Indian government approves ‘Deep Ocean Mission’ to explore the Indian ocean for resources including minerals to mine.
  26. July: Deep-sea mineral mining is moving closer to becoming a reality, even as concerns over environmental damage are rapidly growing.
  27. July: An unexpectedly diverse deep-sea habitat with a methane-based food web discovered off Israel (Mediterranean), including the largest concentration of shark eggs ever found.
  28. July: A study of hydrothermal vents off Oregon is revealing the importance of microbial protists that feed on chemosynthetic bacteria.
  29. July: Genomes of a cold-seep tubeworm and its symbionts have been analyzed in detail
  30. July: Climate-change effects on deep-sea biodiversity, largely via marine snow, have been analyzed through fossil records
  31. July: Intricate skeleton of a deep-sea glass sponge provides inspiration for engineering. Another article shows flow simulations through the sponge.
  32. July: Deep-sea expedition near the remote Phoenix islands discovers many new undersea mountains & animal species, including a glass octopus.
  33. Aug.: Elusive, mysterious 'shape-shifting' whalefish filmed by MBARI. This species' body form changes so much during its lifecycle that different stages were once thought to be different species. A photo of one my colleagues and I netted in 2017 is here.
  34. Aug.: MESOBOT, a new autonomous robotic rover/sampler, will provide long-term monitoring and exploration of the vast mesopelagic (twilight) zone
  35. Aug.: Is the giant squid monogamous? A recent analysis of dead female suggests that might be the case.
  36. Aug.: Blood-red deep-sea jellyfish filmed at 700m off Rhode Island may be a species new to science.
  37. Sept.: "Environment officials and campaigners have called for a global moratorium on deep-sea mining and on issuing new exploration contracts unless marine ecosystems can be effectively protected"; click link for full source of quotation. Click here for another article on the potential gains and harm from deep-sea mining.
  38. Oct.: A new review about deep-sea mining vs environmental protection features Dr. Cindy Van Dover
  39. Oct.: New studies on midwater lanternfish, one of the world's most common vertebrates, are changing our view of their role in the sea
  40. Oct.: The BLOB marine heatwave may disrupt the oceanic carbon sink due to its effects on microorganisms/plankton.
  41. Oct.: Sea cucumber that lives around hydrothermal vents show signs of genetic adaptations to that habitat. Research article is here.
  42. Nov.: Rare deep-sea bigfin squid filmed in Gulf of Mexico at about 2400 m deep (NOAA's Windows to the Deep 2021 expedition)
  43. Nov: Well-preserved mammoth tusk found in deep sea off central California by MBARI.
  44. Dec.: New footage of live barreleye fish obtained by MBARI. This odd fish has a transparent head with large upwards-looking eyes, first filmed live in 2009.
  45. Dec: An overview of 2021's deep-sea discoveries includes the deep Arctic Ocean, under-ice deep Antarctic life, rare giant phantom jellies, etc.
2020 News: The most recent items are at end of list:
  1. Jan.: Giant isopods, zombie worms and more found devouring alligator carcasses in Gulf of Mexico
  2. Jan.: Potential harm to crucial microbes from deep-sea mining assessed
  3. Jan.: Deep-sea archaeon discovered off Japan may hold key to the evolution of eukaryotes.
  4. Jan.: Giant squid's genome analyzed, yielding clues to the origins of its massive size.
  5. Jan.-Feb.: Read a comprehensive review of deep-sea mining in The Atlantic
  6. Feb: Soft robotic "linguine fingers" being used to capture gelatinous animals; genomic testing reveals that this triggers far fewer stress genes than older capture methods.
  7. Feb.: Iron-clad snails and other newly discovered and unique animals at hydrothermal vents under threat from deep-sea mining
  8. Feb.: 100+ marine scientists develop strategies for monitoring and protecting the deep sea; article published here in Nature Ecology&Evolution
  9. Mar: Deep sediments at hydrothermal vents in the Arctic have Chlamydia bacteria: it is not yet known how or why the live there; even stranger, one strain is closely related to the human STD.
  10. Mar.: Coral 'gardens' found in deep-sea canyons off Australia
  11. Mar.: Deep-sea Humboldt squid may communicate with bioluminescent signals
  12. Mar.: New species of amphipod found in Mariana Trench named after plastics found inside it --Eurythenes plasticus
  13. Apr.: Methane-fueled symbiosis between featherduster worms and bacteria discovered at deep-sea methane seeps. Another article with photos here.
  14. Apr: Large scale seasonal migration in deep-sea fish discovered off Africa. Diel (daily) vertical migrations have been known for decades, but this is the first study to document major seasonal migrations across the seafloor.
  15. Apr: Deep-sea albino sharks raise questions about pigment adaptation in the deep.
  16. Apr: Siphonophore at about 600 m deep may be the world's longest 'animal'. Discovered in deep canyons off Australia in March on the Falkor, the spiral siphonophore is actually a colony of individuals related to hydras; it has an outer ring about 45 m long and a possible total length of 120 m (the world's most massive animal, the blue whale, gets up to 'only' 30 m long). Other new discoveries included glass sponges and Taning’s octopus squid.
  17. Apr.: Deep-sea microbes found that can feed on ethane -- reversibly.
  18. May: "Deep biosphere" microbes are bubbling up to the ocean floor in rising petroleum fluids
  19. May: New species of deep-sea "Elvis worms" (polychaete scale worms) described.
  20. May: Whitetip shark off Hawai'i shows sucker wounds suggesting a battle with a Giant Squid.
  21. May: Evidence found that deep-sea currents are carrying microplastics worldwide.
  22. May-June: Footage released of the deepest octopod ever filmed--a dumbo! Researchers captured the images as part of the Five Deeps Expedition, Indian Ocean leg last year. Other links here (BBC) and here (CNN) and here (Hakai magazine).
  23. June: New laser-scanner at MBARI provides incredible detail of midwater larvaceans. These tadpole-shaped animals (chordate relatives of vertebrates) build elaborate mucus "houses" to trap plankton. For MBARI's news release, click here.
  24. June: Based on knowledge of biogenic deep-sea manganese nodules, could we "farm" desirable metals instead of mining them?
  25. June: New life forms and geological features found in deep waters off the Great Barrier Reef--including a 150-ft (45m) siphonophore, the longest animal ever recorded. Another link with videos here.
  26. June: New papers discuss MBARI's long-term deep-sea research at a station off California.
  27. June: Human-produced (anthropogenic) mercury found in animals in the ocean's greatest depths. Our lab reported in 2018 very high mercury in the same locations and the ocean's deepest fishes.
  28. June: Deep-sea coral 'garden' found off Greenland at about 500 m using a new inexpensive underwater video system.
  29. July: Abyssal marine life recovered quickly after the Cretaceous (dinosaur) extinction.
  30. July: 16 deep-sea fish with 'ultra-black' camouflage identified. These fish, including some dragonfish and anglerfish, have layers of melanin pigments that reflect less than 0.1% of light. Another link here, and possible applications in astronomy discussed here.
  31. July: New species of deep-sea glass sponge found off British Columbia. Another new glass sponge in the form of an "ET" alien with "eyes" has also been reported in the deep eastern Pacific.
  32. July: Microplastics found in one deep-sea shrimp do not seem to impair health.
  33. July: Dormant microbes from deep beneath the South Pacific seafloor may have endured for millions of years.
  34. July: Though in shallow water, a recently formed methane seep near Antarctica has been found with similarities to deep ones.
  35. July: In order for 'parasitic' male anglerfish to fuse to (much larger) female ones, some immune genes appear to have been lost.
  36. Aug.: New species of giant isopod, one of the largest known, found off Indonesia (at 950 and 1,260 m). Named Bathynomus raksasa ("rakasa" = Indonesian for "giant"), the specimens averaged about 33 cm long (13 in.).
  37. Aug.: Lice parasitic on elephant seals can survive dives to 2,000m or more. Insects in general seem to be incapable of adapting to the oceans (even sea skates live on the surface), but these lice --Lepidophthirus macrorhini-- are a rare exception. They may survive by going dormant during seal dives. Original article HERE in July issue of J. Experimental Biology.
  38. Aug.: Two new species of Melinnopsis polychaete worms discovered at 2,500 m deep off Australia.
  39. Sept.: New deep-sea corals and sponges, plus a very rare "walking" fish, found at 1800 m off the Great Barrier Reef.
  40. Oct.: The deep sea is now showing a warming trend along with shallower waters. The study was done with long-term monitoring in the Argentine Basin off Uruguay, at 4 stations from 1,360 meters (4,460 feet) to 4,757 meters (15,600 feet).
  41. Oct: First chordate gene for bioluminescence found in deep-sea pyrosomes, colonies of urochordates or Tunicata (sea squirts, larvacea, etc.).
  42. Oct.: Microbial diversity beneath the seafloor may be as diverse as surface microbiota.
  43. Oct.: Elusive ram's horn squid Spirula spirula filmed for the first time. Spirula squid are unusual in that they have internal spiral shells, which wash up on beaches; all other squids are shell-less. Twitter videos and diagrams here.
  44. Oct.: Biologists are imaging bioluminescence in the deep-sea as never before -- at Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) using new high resolution cameras.
  45. Nov.:"eDNA" (environmental DNA) can reveal deep-sea fish diversity. eDNA is DNA shed by organisms into the water.
  46. Nov.: Scientists are using new sound monitoring systems in the deep sea to detect whole-ecosystem soundscapes at hydrothermal vents and elsewhere.
  47. Nov: Possible microfossils found in hydrothermal-vent formations over 4 billion yrs old. The evidence--including tiny microtubes, organic traces and phosphorus--is, however, controversial in terms of proving living origins and also the actual age of the formations.
  48. Nov.: Rare Bigfin Squid filmed in Australian deep sea; this species, Magnapinna, has also been filmed in the Northern Hemisphere, so it may be worldwide (cosmopolitan).
  49. Nov./Dec.: Record swarm of abyssal fishes filmed on seamount on Clarion-Clipperton Zone between Hawai'i and Mexico. The fish, cutthroat eels Ilyophis arx, were swarming on deployed bait.
  50. Dec.: Tiny balloon-shaped new species of ctenophore (comb jelly) discovered by video footage -- in the deep sea near Puerto Rico.
  51. Dec: eDNA is yielding information about the biology of the elusive giant squid.
  52. Dec.: Poorly studied Ghost Sharks (=chimaeras or ratfish, not true sharks) are threatened by increasingly deeper fisheries, raising concern about species loss.
  53. Dec.: The 5-year ATLAS project, a survey of key deep-sea sites in the N. Atlantic, is now complete, and reports discovery of many new species.
2019 News: The most recent items are at end of list:
  1. Jan.: Researchers from MBARI unexpectedly discover grenadiers, eels and sharks in deep zone with almost no oxygen (Gulf of California).
  2. Jan.-Feb.: the FIVE DEEPS expedition is on its second voyage, this time to the largely unexplored South Sandwich Trench near Antarctica (I am aboard; click this link for live updates). See 2018 #31 for the first voyage (Puerto Rico Trench).
  3. Feb.: Victor Vescovo completes submersible dive to the deepest point in the Southern Ocean; the engineering and science teams (including me) deployed landers and retrieved animals.
  4. Feb.: New animal species discovered on seamounts off Costa Rica
  5. Mar.: NASA and Woods Hole are testing small nimble drones to explore the ocean's greatest depths
  6. Mar.: Researchers discover how hagfish's "zombie" hearts keep beating without oxygen
  7. Mar.: Video of giant isopods eating carcass of alligator
  8. Apr.: Two new species of deep-sea coral discovered off New England, in a National Marine Monument created by Pres. Obama, and an area threatened by warming waters.
  9. Apr.: Sea snakes, considered tropical and shallow, now observed at record depth (245m) by Australian biologists.
  10. Apr: Pagoda-link pink hydrothermal vents discovered in Gulf of California
  11. Apr:. Video released of giant isopods eating an alligator carcass in the Gulf of Mexico
  12. Apr: The FIVE DEEPS expedition completes submersible dives to the deepest site in the Indian Ocean (Java Trench). Discoveries include a new species of stalked sea squirt of a type never seen before. See 2019#2 and 2018#31 for earlier dives.
  13. Apr.: More carbon may be locked up by trenches than previously thought, with microbes playing a key role.
  14. Apr.: The Mariana Trench amphipod uses aluminum "armor" in its exoskeleton to reduce pressure-induced dissolving of calcium carbonate.
  15. May: Extremophiles from deep-sea vents etc. could help fight superbugs and biowarfare agents
  16. May: FIVE DEEPS expedition: Victor Vescovo completes solo submersbile dive to the ocean's greatest depth, in the Mariana Trench. Other FIVE DEEPS team members also participated in deep dives; see the full press release here. New species were discovered. Many media reports stated that trash was found, but this was a false story!
  17. May: Deep-sea spinyfin has the most opsins (light/color-detecting retinal proteins) of any vertebrate
  18. June: Teeth of deep-sea dragonfish are stronger than those of a pirahna.
  19. June: Microplastics at high levels have been found in the deep sea and in the animals that live there.
  20. June: Video of juvenile giant squid obtained, only the 2nd such video of this elusive cephalopod ever obtained.
  21. July: New videos of deep-sea anglerfish reveal surprising behaviors.
  22. July: Ecosystem data collected by deep-sea mining companies yield new information for biologists
  23. July: Ancient, elusive 6-gill shark filmed up close; also see another article here.
  24. July: Scaly-foot metallic snail of hydrothermal vents could be endangered by deep-sea mineral mining.
  25. July: Anatomical studies reveal a new species of tiny deep-sea pocket shark. The shark can squirt bioluminescent fluid from its "pockets".
  26. July: Deep-sea ravioli or cookie seastar, though long known, is filmed for the first time in a feeding frenzy.
  27. July: New genetic studies reveal in part how ctenophores (comb jellies) adapt to the deep sea.
  28. Aug.: Molecular mechanism of deep-sea biofluorescent catsharks discovered. Original article here in iScience.
  29. Aug.: The FIVE DEEPS expedition surveys the Titanic wreck, finding that decay is accelerating.
  30. Aug.: Newly discovered deep-sea archaeon can covert oil into methane by itself; previously it was thought that only a partnership of different microbes could do this.
  31. Sept.: Seamounts are biological hotspots that may be damaged by mining for rare earths and other metals important for technology.
  32. Oct.: Deep-sea anglerfish obtain luminescent symbionts from seawater and also shed them. Another link HERE.
  33. Oct.: The deep-sea Pacific warty octopus Graneledone pacifica tends to be smaller and "wartier" the deeper it goes.
  34. Nov.: Symbiotic bacteria in cold-seep mussels obtained carbon-fixing genes from other bacteria.
  35. Nov.: New research supports hypothesis that life began at hydrothermal vents, with the synthesis of protocells. Another link here.
  36. Nov.: New submersible designs including plastic spheres are opening up the deep to more people.
  37. Nov.: New study measures growth rates and succession dynamics in deep-sea corals on undersea Hawai'ian lava flows.
  38. Dec.: Numerous deep-sea sponges, corals and more found on guyot (extinct volcanic seamount) off NW Scotland.
2018 News: The most recent items are at end of list:
  1. Jan.-Feb.: German scientists are studying the potential impacts of deep-sea mining, which may begin soon in part because the world demands more rare-earth metals for electronics. UPDATE: the European Parliament has voted to ban deep-sea mining until impacts can be assessed properly
  2. Jan.: BBC's BLUE PLANET II with David Attenborough premieres in the USA in Jan. (BBC America). Episode 2 includes footage of the deepest known fish that I and our HADES team provided from our 2014 Mariana Trench expedition
  3. Jan.: Viper dogfish shark, with extendible jaws and light organs, caught off Taiwan.
  4. Feb.: Seastars in the deep, below 1000m where there is no sunlight, have eyes; some species are bioluminescent and may use their eyes for light communication. Another story on this is here.
  5. Feb.: Our study on widespread gelatinous tissues in deep-sea fishes using a robotic snailfish and tissue analyses
  6. Feb: New species of six-gill shark detected by DNA analysis (Atlantic).
  7. Feb.: First-ever video of dumbo octopus hatching obtained.
  8. Feb.: Deep-sea Pacific white skates lay eggs in hydrothermal vents for warmth
  9. Mar.: Genetics determine habitat choice resulting in separate populations of deep-sea roundnose grenadier
  10. Mar.: First ever video of live, mated anglerfish in the wild obtained. Male anglerfish are tiny and bind for life to large females like parasites.
  11. Apr.: Swarm of octopus mothers found at surprising site in the deep
  12. Apr.: Bizarre "twisted" squid filmed at 850 m in Gulf of Mexico
  13. Apr.: How some deep-sea fish like anglers achieve near-perfect blackness has been figured out; the secret lies in complex skin nanostructures that absorb almost all photons
  14. June: The deep sea is increasingly at risk from fisheries, mining and other exploitation
  15. July: Radiolarians (single-celled heterotrophic organisms with silica skeletons) of the mesopelagic may play an unexpectedly large role in the carbon cycle.
  16. July: Genome of symbiotic bioluminescent bacteria in anglerfish lures sequenced. One finding: They have lost genes for amino acid synthesis, suggesting they rely on the host fish for these critical biomolecules.
  17. July: Newly discovered deep-sea shark named after Eugenia Clark, a pioneer in shark research and one of the first prominent female marine biologists.
  18. July: Researchers propose criteria to protect deep-sea biodiversity by limits to deep-sea mining.
  19. July/Aug: Origami-inspired device helps capture deep-sea gelatinous animals without damage. Related devices made at sea with 3D printer here!
  20. Aug.: Enormous deep-sea coral reef discovered off South Carolina.
  21. Sept.: MBARI scientists (Steve Haddock et al.) report new technology to film bioluminescent deep-sea animals as never before.
  22. Sept.: A new study shows that deep-sea mining can cause damage that lasts decades.
  23. Sept.: 3 new species of hadal snailfish reported, found in the Atacama Trench off Chile by our colleagues from Newcastle Univ., UK.
  24. Oct.: Deep-sea fish such as dragonfish use the blackest known pigments to hide from bioluminescence
  25. Oct.: China completes 54-day exploration of the Mariana Trench with cutting-edge equipment
  26. Oct: Swimming sea cucumber Enypniastes (aka "Spanish dancer" or "headless chicken monster") filmed off Antarctica, far from other places it has been seen.
  27. Oct.: Some deep-sea animals have been ingesting plastics for decades
  28. Oct.: Glass sponges in the deep sea off Nova Scotia cope well with temperature and salinity changes
  29. Oct.: Near the Mariana Trench, a recent volcanic eruption discovered -- the deepest ever recorded.
  30. Nov.: New discoveries on deep-sea microbes that consume greenhouse gases reported HERE for Gulf of California, and HERE and HERE for the Clarion-Clipperton Fracture Zone.
  31. Dec.: the FIVE DEEPS expedition successfully deployed the world's deepest-diving manned submersible to the bottom of the Puerto Rico Trench. New species of amphipods are likely one of the scientific results, the rest to be released later. See Jan. 2019 News #2 for the next deep.
2017 News -- The most recent items are at end of list::
  1. Jan.: A review of threats to deep-sea corals posted by Pew Charitable trusts
  2. Feb.: Extreme levels of pollutants found in Mariana Trench animals (collected by Alan Jamieson, Newcastle UK, on our 2014 expediton)
  3. Feb.: An international team of ocean scientists published an ecosystem-based plan for monitoring the deep and its exploitation. The actual article in Science is here, or downloadable here.
  4. Feb./Jan.: New discoveries on hagfish defenses: slime properties; tying body in knots; loose skin as defense against sharks.
  5. Mar.: Mechanism for wide-opening dragonfish jaw discovered
  6. Mar.: Giant deep-sea octopus filmed feeding on jellies (MBARI/GEOMAR)
  7. Mar./Apr.: Tiny (apparent) fossils at 4-billion-year-old hydrothermal-vent deposits could be oldest signs of life yet
  8. Apr.: New deep polar seafloor maps reveal strange patterns --gouges from glaciers and icebergs
  9. May: "Faceless" or "Two-butted" fish rediscovered 4km deep off Australia, along with other odd (some new) deep-sea animals.
  10. May/June: NOAA exploration of deep Central Pacific discovers 'fossil' behaviors, seastars capturing squid, snails eating crinoids..
  11. July: Unexpected deep-sea coral reefs found off Hawai'ian islands in an area with low aragonite levels
  12. July: Giant squid found to have relatively small optic lobes, probably because (in the deep sea) they do not need the neural processing power than shallow squids have.
  13. Aug.: A new MBARI study by Martini, Haddock and others documents the high prevalence (76%) of bioluminescence in the deep sea:
  14. Aug.: JAMSTEC documents the deepest fish ever seen live, the Mariana Trench snailfish at 8178m, beating our previous record of 8145m in that trench when we discovered the new species in 2014.
  15. Oct.: New genus of sponges found growing on valuable deep-sea polymetallic nodules between Mexico and Hawai'i
  16. Nov.: Rare deep-sea frilled shark reported caught off Portugal this summer.
  17. Nov.: Deepest fish ever found, a new species of snailfish from the Mariana Trench which our team found in 2014 (see #14 above), is now described and named Pseudoliparis swirei by my former student Mackenzie Gerringer, Ph.D.

2016 News: The most recent items are at end of list

  1. Jan.: New research on hagfish slime at ETH Zurich seeks practical hydrogel applications [my colleagues at U. Guelph, McMaster U. and I analyzed the slime's composition in 2010]
  2. Feb.: Deep-sea "churro" (an odd flatworm-like animal of uncertain classification found at cold seeps) finally receives genetic classification.
  3. Mar.: Surprising amount of noise recorded at bottom of Mariana Trench ..including distant earthquakes and surface ship sounds
  4. Mar.: Probable new ghostly species of deep-sea octopod found off Hawai'i
  5. Mar.: Belches of melting methane hydrates in deep seafloor could explain mysterious ship sinkings, including in the Bermuda Triangle
  6. Apr:. Hordes of 'zombie' crabs filmed deep off Panama
  7. Apr.: Findings reveal some deep-sea life survived the dinosaur KT extinction
  8. May: New --and eerily beautiful--species of deep-sea jelly filmed near Mariana Trench
  9. May: Massive old deep-sea sponge discovered off Hawai'i
  10. May: Deep-sea biologists work on restoring deep Gulf habitats destroyed by BP oil spill
  11. June: UK's oldest deep-sea MPA shown to protect cold-water corals successfully
  12. June: Hydrothermal vents are more common than previously estimated; Click here for original research article (Sept. 1)
  13. June: Glass squids have "inefficient" photophores which may aid in camouflage
  14. June: 2016 update on mysterious mushroom-like animals from the deep reported in 2014: DNA reveals these to be a type of siphonophore (colonial cnidarian like Man-O'-Wars).
  15. July: NOAA expedition to Mariana Arc/Trench region documents amazing geology and organisms down to 6,000 m
  16. July: New evidence that the last common ancestor of all life lived at hydrothermal vents
  17. July: NEKTON Alliance launches for detailed analyses and monitoring of the deep sea.
  18. Aug.: Whalefall spotted deep off S. California.
  19. Aug.: Chinese ROV reaches bottom of Mariana Trench: only the 3rd ROV to do so (after Japan's Kaiko and USA's Nereus, both lost at sea)
  20. Aug.: Greenland sharks may live hundreds of years, making the species the longest living of vertebrates known, and suggesting other deep-sea sharks may also live long lives. These sharks have been found between 0 and 1200 m deep.
  21. Sept.: Cook seamount explored off Hawai'i revealing oasis of life; another link here.
  22. Nov.: New super-salty brine pool found in Gulf of Mexico dubbed Jacuzzi of Despair as it kills all life that enters it.
  23. Dec.: Large blob-like larvacean rediscovered for the first time since 1900 by MBARI. Scientific report here.
  24. Dec.: Update on deep-sea 'ghost octopods' reported in March 2016 (above) and the manganese nodule fields where some have been found.
  25. Dec.: Rare 'ghostly' translucent blue chimaera filmed in N. Hemisphere deep sea for the first time (sometimes called a 'ghost shark' though it is a holocephalan, not a shark. However like sharks it is a type of Chondrichthyes or cartilaginous fish).
  26. Dec: New animal species found at hydrothermal vents in Indian Ocean
  27. Dec.: Manganese nodules -- breeding grounds for deep-sea octopods?

2015 News: The most recent items are at end of list

  1. Jan.: Drilling team finds life deep under Antarctic ice shelf -- fish, amphiphipods and more, the furthest south that marine life has been found, 850km from the open ocean and 740m beneath the ice. More photos and details here.
  2. Jan.: Rare "primordial" frilled shark caught off Australia
  3. Feb.: Rare goblin shark caught off Australia
  4. Feb.: Large field of huge manganese nodules found in deep mid-Atlantic. The formations could be millions of years old, and were not expected to be found here. Another link here.
  5. Mar.: Oxygen-using microbes found "from the seafloor to the igneous basement" within sediments of the deep-sea abyss.
  6. Mar.: Pollutants found in deep-sea fishes
  7. Apr.: Live video from Puerto-Rico Trench area
  8. Apr.: Vampire squids, unlike true squids, may reproduce multiple times rather than just once
  9. Apr.: "Adorable" midwater Pocket Shark found for only the second time ever.
  10. May: Deep-sea volcano erupts off Oregon
  11. May: Deep-sea archaea found to be related to the original/ancestral eukaryotic 'host' that took in pre-mitochondrial bacteria as endosymbionts, leading to all eukaryotic life forms.
  12. June: The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council votes to protect deep sea corals from most bottom fishing. Another site here.
  13. June: Giant squid found to eat toothfish
  14. June: Deep-sea sharks may be positively buoyant
  15. June: Mesopelagic or 'twilight' zone contains far more life than thought, including the bristlemouth fish, the world's most common vertebrate.
  16. July: New species of Yeti crab, first seen by Antarctic hydrothermal vents in 2010, is now formally described
  17. Aug.: New 'scary looking' species of deep-sea anglerfish described
  18. Aug. Deep sub-seafloor microbes off Japan are related to terrestrial wetland microbes
  19. Aug.: Deep-sea siphonophore said to look like Flying Spaghetti Monster
  20. Aug.: Why are there (apparently) no fish in the deepest oceans? Rebecca Helm explores my hypothesis
  21. Sept. Coelacanth ( deep-sea 'living fossil') has vestigial lung
  22. Sept. Future of human-occupied research submersibles questioned
  23. Sept. Deep-sea creatures filmed off Hawai'i
  24. Oct.: Ocean warming may be melting deep-sea methane hydrates -- which would accelerate global warming
  25. Oct.: Hydtrothermal-vent bacteria could help with global warming
  26. Nov.: Deep-sea mining company develops new machinery
  27. Dec.: Deep-sea sharks in the Mediterranean eat human food waste
  28. Dec.: Unusual carbonate vents discovered by Irish research expedition
  29. Dec.: Hadal ROV Nereus, which imploded at 10km depth on our Kermadec Trench expedition in 2014, will not be replaced by WHOI
  30. Dec.: Giant squid, normally a deep dweller, filmed in shallow Japanese waters by diver
  31. Dec.: New deep shark species called "Ninja lanternshark" discovered
2014 News: The most recent items are at end of list
  1. Jan.: MBARI releases footage of deep-sea battle between a black-eyed squid and owlfish
  2. Jan.: Models indicate climate change will have large impact on the deep sea
  3. Feb.: Marine scientists call for Stewardship of the deep sea
  4. Feb.: Deep-sea vent mining failing
  5. Mar.: Possible biochemical depth limit for deep-sea fishes revealed -- work from our lab in collaboration with colleagues at University of Aberdeen, NIWA New Zealand and U. Hawai'i.
  6. Mar.: First look at an unexplored trench-- work by my collaborators in the New Hebrides Trench
  7. Mar.: The new Alvin's Science Verification cruise
  8. Apr.: Rare deep-sea goblin shark caught off Florida
  9. Apr.-May: Our 2014 HADES Kermadec-Trench expedition with the Nereus submersible is now completed, with many new discoveries and more to come, as the first part of the HADES program. Sadly, Nereus was lost after nearly completing its deepest dive (to 10,000m/33,000ft).
  10. June: A new analysis supporting the hydrothermal-vent origin-of-life hypothesis
  11. July: MBARI documents record-setting brood time by deep-sea octopus Graneledone boreopacifica -- over four years she sat on her embryoes to protect them!
  12. Aug.: "Villages of rust" created by bacteria found at vents off Hawaii
  13. Aug.: Adaptations to low light of eyes of deep-sea (mesoplagic) sharks revealed
  14. Aug.: 100s of natural-gas plumes found off the US East Coast: normally in deep cold water, methane [natural gas] stays frozen as a gas hydrate. But if the water warms a bit, gas hydrate melts and forms bubble plumes that go into the is not certain this is getting worse, but if it is, there could be an impact on climate as methane is 20X worse than CO2 as a greenhouse gas.
  15. Aug.: European project to evaluate risks of deep-sea mining to unique ecosystems, such as hydrothermal vents.
  16. Sept.: Strange mushroom-like animals from deep off Australia do not fit known categories of animals. They were first found in the 1980s but only just published. 2016 update: DNA reveals these to be a type of siphonophore (colonial cnidarian like Man-O'-Wars).
  17. Oct.: Seafloor carbonates that form near gas seeps harbor methane-metabolizing microbes: surprising new finding is of potential significance to understanding global warming
  18. Dec.: Deep-sea mounds of asphalt found off Africa
  19. Dec.: Deepest-living fish discovered on our SOI Mariana-Trench expedition; the translucent ghostly fish looks like a cross between an eel, a bird and a Labrador puppy. First filmed at 7900m by an SOI lander then at 8145m by an Aberdeen-Oceanlab lander, a record depth for any fish anywhere.
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2013 News: The most recent items are at end of list
  1. Jan.: Film of giant squid released. See 2012 item #16 below. Also see Craig McClain's site (click on Giant Squid logo above right) for analysis.
  2. Feb.: New deep-sea eelpout species found near New Zealand by my HADES-grant colleagues.
  3. Feb.: Researchers currently exploring the deepest-known hydrothermal vents, in the Cayman Trough.
  4. Feb.: Wide diversity of life found in ocean's deepest sites in an analysis of videos taken in the DEEPSEA CHALLENGE expedition of 2012.
  5. Mar.: Surprising abundance of microbial life reported in ocean's deepest site in an analysis of oxygen consumption in Mariana Trench sediments (study led by Ronnie Glud of the University of Southern Denmark.
  6. Mar: Giant squid found to have suprisingly low genetic diversity worldwide , suggesting they can and do readily interbreed anywhere in the oceans.
  7. Mar.: James Cameron donates DEEPSEA CHALLENGE sub and other equipment to Woods Hole Oceanographic Inst.
  8. Mar.: First whalefall found in deep-sea off Antarctica, with 9 new species
  9. Mar.: Strange new species of jellyfish spotted off Chile
  10. Apr.: Deep hydrothermal-vent life may not be as isolated from surface waters and climate as once thought
  11. May: New methane-based ecosystem found off Virginia coast at 1600 m . Researchers found dense fields of mussels with methane-using symbionts.
  12. May: New deep-sea fish (plunderfish) found off Antarctica .
  13. May: Hydrothermal-vent Pompeii worms can tolerate up to 50C but not higher (at least in lab pressure chambers). This temperature limit is close to the maximum known for animals (other heat-tolerant champions being Saharan ants and other species of vent worms), but is nowhere near apparent temperatures recorded around the worms in their environment.
  14. June: Videos of giant oarfish obtained in Gulf of Mexico: spectactular videos have been obtained over the last several years, with a publication released this month.
  15. June 11: James Cameron in DC with his submersible to make presentations to the public and the Senate on ocean exploration.
  16. June: New species discovered on deep reefs in the Caribbean
  17. June (all month): Hybrid sub Nereus being used to explore the world's deepest hydrothermal vents, with live video feed starting June 21
  18. June: Yeti crabs, hairy-armed crustaceans living at some hydrothermal vents and seep, apparently evolved fairly recently.
  19. June: Deep-sea octopus gives birth to small miniature adult; a rare mode of reproduction among cephalopods
  20. Aug.: New species of deep-sea sharks found in S. Indian Ocean
  21. Aug.: Deep-sea acorn worm rediscovered after 140 years -- not seen since the Challenger expedition of the 1870s
  22. Aug.: Deep-sea squid's deceptive tactics for attracting prey: a lure tactic filmed at 4km depth.
  23. Oct.:Giant squid carcass washes ashore in Spain.
  24. Oct.:TWO Giant deep-sea OARFISH found in S. California, one carrying eggs and the other infested with parasites, allowing scientists a rare opportunity to study their biology. Another article here.
  25. Dec.: New species of snail, worm, and clam found deep off Scotland in the Rockall Trough/Volcano area, at an area suspected to be a cold seep.
  26. Dec.: Discoveries from James Cameron's dive to the Mariana Trench summarized: includes research from our lab
2012 News: The most recent items are at end of list
  1. Jan.: Hydrothermal vents discovered near Antarctica with all new species including huge densities of a new species of yeti crab!
  2. Jan.: The deepest-known hydrothermal vents, discovered in the Cayman Trough in 2010, are the hottest yet recorded: 450C! Also a new species of vent shrimp and other animals are found here, along with vent in unexpected locations.
  3. Feb.: Supergiant amphipod from a deep trench reported. These are about 10 times bigger than their more familiar relatives like beach fleas. The expedition to the Kermadec Trench (10,000m deep) in Nov. 2011 was operated by University of Aberdeen and NIWA New Zealand and included a student (see photo, right) from my lab (Whitman College, noted in Aberdeen news release). This expedition marks the beginning of a new international collaboration to explore trench (hadal) ecosystems: the HADES program.
  4. Mar.: New deep-sea habitat called a "hydrothermal seep" reported off Costa Rica: this never-before-seen phenomenon has characteristics of both cold seep and hydrothermal vents, as well as many new species.
  5. Mar.: James Cameron exploring deep trenches with a new one-man sub. UPDATE March 25: Cameron reaches the ocean's deepest point, the Challenger Deep of the Mariana Trench. UPDATE Mar. 26: Cameron returns from the depth; little signs of life were seen, but his dive was cut short by a hydraulic leak. See Item 15 below for updates.
  6. June: How deep-sea life copes with pressure is the topic of this Science News article (includes research in my lab).
  7. June: Vent animals may have hitched a ride on the ALVIN submersible to a new habitat (first reported in May).
  8. July: The Mariana Trench flatfish reported at about 11,000m depth in the record-setting 1960 Trieste dive is probably not real: Alan Jamieson and I document evidence that no species of the flatfish family have been found below about 2000m and no other bony fish have been found below about 8500m.
  9. Aug.: Limits of microbial life explored at deep ocean vents / volcanoes
  10. Aug.: Deep-sea coral found at a record depth on an oil platform in the Gulf of Mexico.
  11. Aug.: Large amphipods of Mariana Trench found to have enzymes for digesting wood. This discovery by Japanese researchers may explain how these animals grow so large in the food-poor depths of this trench.
  12. Sept.: Vampire squid's diet--fecal matter, dead plankton and other "marine snow"--revealed for the first time: another link here.
  13. Oct.: Europe's deep-water fisheries are being severerly mismanaged--report says. This thorough analysis reveals many stocks are fished well beyond quota levels.
  14. Oct.: Deep-sea trawling is destroying seafloor habitat complexity. Another article with picture, from Sept., is HERE.
  15. Dec.: 13th Internat'l Deep-Sea Biology Symposium in Wellington NZ, Dec.2-7was a great success. Among the featured speakers was James Cameron, who spoke on his Mariana-Trench dive. The following day he and his scientists presented the scientific findings of their cruises (including some from my lab) at the Amer. Geophys. Union meeting in San Francisco (video at link bottom).
  16. Dec. Live giant squid filmed in its habitat for the first time: footage to be released in Jan. 2013
amphi giant


2010 Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill:
News HERE at Center for Biological Diversity
Mar. 2012: Damage to deep-sea coral linked to BP Oil Spill
--BP Oil Spill damaged marsh grasses
Apr.2014: BP Oil Spill damage continues to be seen

2011 Earthquake/Tsunami in Japan:
Radiation plume nears California, Nov. 2014.

2011 News: The most recent items are at end of list

  1. Jan.: Microbes may have eaten much of the methane from the 2010 Gulf spill: Researchers have found markers of increased bacterial respiration and surprisingly low methane levels in waters affected by the spill, suggesting that the methane was metabolized. Critics note, however, that the methane may have gone somewhere else and we just have not found it yet.
  2. Feb.: Microbes not degrading spilled Gulf oil as fast as originally thought. Recent observations show considerable oil still standing on the deep-sea bottom.
  3. Mar.: An Antarctic seamount covered in crinoids appears to be a remnant of a Mesozoic community. The discovery is now reaching the media, but was reported in 2010 and on the Echinoblog in Jan. 2011.
  4. July: Giant undersea volcanoes found near Antarctica, may have unique species (e.g., on hydrothermal vents). The implications are staggering--these are Mt-Fuji-sized volcanoes we did not even know existed previously!
  5. Aug.: Symbiotic microbes in hydrothermal-vent mussels reported to be using hydrogen gas as "food".
  6. Aug.: Researchers stream live video from undersea eruption off Oregon.
  7. Aug.: Private companies in a race to the Mariana Trench with new manned submersibles.
  8. Sept.: "A Plume of Chemicals from Deepwater Horizon" -- Oceanus reports on the scientific detective work that found lingering deep-sea plumes of petroleum chemicals following the Deepwater Horizon oilrig blowout of 2010.
  9. Sept.: Scientists call for ban on deep-sea fishing. Fishing fleets have moved into deeper waters as shallow fish stocks have been depleted. However, deep-sea fish--due to low growth and reproductive rates--are far more vulnerable to overfishing. An associated study finds most or all deep-sea fisheries to be unsustainable.
  10. Sept.: Same-sex sex documented in a deep-sea squid.
  11. Oct.: Giant amoebas (xenophyophores) found in Mariana Trench by Scripps scientists using new high-pressure camera "landers."
  12. Nov.: 2nd expedition to study seamounts along the South-West Indian Ocean Ridge announced. These seamounts are vulnerable to deep-sea trawling damage and may include undiscovered species. Scientists on the UK research vessel James Cook will continue a study begun in 2009.
  13. Nov.: New "big-lip" acorn worm species found near Mid-Atlantic Ridge.
  14. Dec.: Deep-sea Yeti crab's unusual method of feeding documented. Yeti crabs live at vents and have "hairy" arms on which they cultivate a "crop" of bacteria; see the actual article here.
  15. Dec.: Startling sonar images of giant undersea volcanoes being destroyed at a deep-sea trench released. Where a line of volcanoes marches into the Kermadec-Tonga trench, there are (mysteriously) fewer large earthquakes.
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2010 News: The most recent items are at end of list -- Including 2010 Gulf-of-Mexico Oil Spill

  1. Feb.: New research supports hydrothermal vents as site of life's origin: researchers present evidence that minerals, gases and various gradients at vents could have catalyzed synthesis of biomolecules
  2. Feb.: Vent snails with iron-pyrite armor analyzed: unique vent snails discovered a decade ago have armor on their feet embedded with iron pyrite. A new study reports the armor's unique organic-mineral composition and its possible implications for human armor.
  3. Mar.: Possible hydrothermal vents found near Antarctica: using indirect information (such as helium in the water), researchers predict that vents will be found on the Pacific Antarctic ridge. See Jan. 2012 update!
  4. Apr.: Hydrothermal vents at record depth found in Cayman Trough: a UK expedition reported vents at 5km depth! Lifeforms there may be different than elsewhere since this vent area is not connected to others in the world. See Jan. 2012 update!
  5. Apr.: Deep-sea animals found living without oxygen: Tiny marine animals called Loricifera were found alive at 3.5km depth in an anoxic basin in the Mediterranean by Roberto Danovaro and his team. The species are new to science and may be the only known animals to live long periods with little or no oxygen.
  6. May: Giant herring from the deep sea found in Sweden: an 11-ft (3.5 m) "king of herring" or oarfish Regalecus glesne was found dead near shore in Sweden. The oarfish, the world's longest bony fish, lives in the deep sea, and has not been seen in Sweden since 1879.
  7. May OIL-SPILL update: Gulf of Mexico oil spill may harm deep-sea life: the oil spewing out from the ruined oil-rig pipe is dispersing to form huge "plumes" at all depths in the water, possibly due to the clean-up dispersant being used, and may cause unseen damage to the deep. Another link is here. [However, not everyone is convinced yet that these plumes are real.] Also, an attempt to cap the leak with a large "funnel" was foiled by frozen gas hydrates plugging it up. For more on gas hydrates, see my SEEPS page.
  8. June/OIL SPILL: the NY Times has a feature article on deep-sea life in the Gulf of Mexico and the potential effects of the oil spill thereon.
  9. July/OIL SPILL: Oil-eating microbes, such as those found at deep-sea oil seeps, have been found growing rapidly in oil plumes in the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil disaster. Such microbes may help clean up the mess.
  10. July: A US-Indonesian team is mapping a newly discovered undersea volcano, 3000m (10,000ft) tall, off of Sulawesi.
  11. July: A new species of deep-sea pancake batfish has been found near the destroyed 2010 BP oil well in the Gulf of Mexico. These tiny, flattened fish have lures and "walk" along the seafloor with their fins!
  12. Aug.: New deep-sea species discovered off Indonesia: using a robotic sub, scientists discovered perhaps 40 new species in this poorly known habitat, including giant sea spiders, carnivorous sponges, and sea lilies.
  13. Aug.: New analysis shows that the deep open ocean is by far the least studied marine habitat
  14. Sept.: Vent origin for life? The Smithsonian magazine Oct. 2010 has an article about research (at the Carnegie Institution) on ways that life on Earth might have originated at deep-sea hydrothermal vents
  15. Oct: New species of trench fish discovered. Biologists of the HADEEP program report a new snailfish species at 7000m in the Peru-Chile trench. In a related story from July 2010, a surprising abundance of snailfish were observed at a baited video in the Japan Trench at 7700m.
  16. Oct.: Did electrical energy at hydrothermal vent help life originate?" Researchers in Japan have shown that hydrothermal vents (at least in the lab) can generate electric currents that might trigger synthesis of organic molecules. Another link is here.
  17. Nov.: Squidworm, a new species of annelid worm with flambouyant squid-like tentacles, seen at 2800m depth: an expedition i 2007 to the Celebes Sea discovered this worm, Teuthidodrilus samae, and is now releasing the data.
  18. Nov.: Submersible dive reveals evidence of Gulf oil spill on the deep-sea floor: An expedition to the site of the BP 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico finds signs of the spill in deep sediments and animals.
  19. Dec.: The submersible Alvin, in operation since the 1960s, has finished its final dive and will now be dramatically transformed to enhance its capabilities.
  20. Dec.: The Census of Marine Life released its final report on its decade-long activities, including discoveries of many new deep-sea species.
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2009 NEWS: (The most recent items are at end of list)

  1. Jan.: Deep-sea fish species reclassified from 3 families into 1 family of whalefish: 3 species of deep-sea fish, which look very different, have been now found to be closely related. Such a reclassification is a major (and rare) event in taxonomy, and illustrates the difficulty of categorizing life in the deep.
  2. Feb.: MBARI researchers film for the first time a barrel-eye fish with a transparent head! This weird-looking fish as two huge eyes focused upwards through a clear dome to look for silhouettes of animals above. [The fish was featured in a hilarious news segment on the Colbert Report on Comedy Central]
  3. May-June: New type of hybrid ROV reaches Mariana Trench. The new vehicle is the first submersible to reach the trench since the late 1990s.
  4. Aug: Deep-sea worm with bioluminescent "bombs" discovered: a deep-sea pelagic polychaete has been found that throws off packets that light up like a firework or bomb, probably to distract predators while the worm escapes in the dark. Reported in Science Aug. 21 2009 issue p964.
  5. Sept:Deep-sea fish sold in restaurants may be endangered: the blue grenadier or hoki of New Zealand, a deep-sea fish related to cod and rattails, has been showcased as a sustainable fishery, but recent declines suggest problems are arising due to demand.
  6. Oct: The Oct. 17 2009 issue of New Scientist has an in-depth article on the possible origin of life at hydrothermal vents like the Lost City (see also 2008 news item #1 about the Lost City).
  7. Oct.: A submersible survey of deep canyons off California found that fishing gear makes up most of the trash--New Scientist article.
  8. Oct.: Microbes of cold seeps have been shown to fix nitrogen as well as use sulfide and methane for energy (reported in Oct. 16, 2009 Science, p377 and 422.
  9. Nov 22: The Census of Marine Life released updates on recent discoveries of deep-sea life, including a worm that consumes oil and a swimming sea cucumber.
  10. Dec 17: Explosive deep-sea eruption video shown by geologists at annual conference. This video was taken in May in the South Pacific of the deepest active volcano yet discovered. Another, shallower volcano in the Pacific was filmed erupting in April.

2008 NEWS: The most recent items are at end of list

  1. Jan.: Deep-sea vents found to produce oil and gas from inorganic sources: researchers from Woods Hole working at the Lost City vent field in the Atlantic made this breakthrough discovery, showing for the first time oil & gas production can occur independently of life.
  2. Jan.: New species of deep-sea eelpouts and snailfish discovered: Dr Nikki King of University of Aberdeen discovered these in trawls of the deep Indian Ocean
  3. Feb.: Unidentified new species discovered on the Antarctic seabed: Researchers from Australia, France and Japan explored shallow to deep areas near Antarctica down to 2000m (6500 ft), and found new kinds of fish, tunicates and other invertebrates, and unidentified giant glassy animals growing like a field of flowers. See also link #6 below
  4. Feb.: Krill found diving to 3000m or more in Antarctica: long considered to be shallow-water animals, these Antarcti species were observed at abyssal depths feeding.
  5. May: "Brittlestar City" discovered on Antarctic Seamount: On the crown of a shallow seamount between New Zealand and Antarctica, researchers discovered millions of brittlestars feeding in a swift current. Normally seamount tops are covered with corals and sponges, but not hear. [Note: this site is only 90m/300ft deep, so not truly in the deep sea.]
  6. May: Photo gallery of new deepsea species from Antarctica -- see story #3 above
  7. May: Thriving microbes found 1.6km beneath the seafloor in hot (60-100C) sediments in the Atlantic. This is twice the depth at which life has been previously found beneath the seafloor.
  8. June: Evidence of explosive volcanic eruption found on Gakkel Ridge in the Arctic: the eruption occurred in 1999. This type of explosive process was thought to be impossible in the deep sea due to high pressure.
  9. Aug.: Hottest water on Earth, in supercritical state found, at hydrothermal vent : A team from Jacobs University in Germany found a vent in the Atlantic with water up to 464C. The water is somewhere between a liquid and a gas (a 'supercritical' state) that is very efficient at dissovling minerals beneath the seafloor and carrying them into seawater.
  10. Aug.: New type of virus-bacteria interaction found at hydrothermal vents: Eric Wommack found viruses inside vent bacteria that were not causing problems for the host; instead, they might be introducing genes useful in the harsh habitat.
  11. Sept.: Deep-sea cusk eel uses special muscles to make communication sounds:
  12. Oct.: Deepest-living fish filmed: Japanese and UK researchers have filmed living fishes at 7700m deep! A brotulid fish had previously been caught from below 8000m in the Carribean, but it was dead when retrieved.

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2007 NEWS: The most recent items are at end of list

  1. Jan.: Rare deep-sea shark caught on film! The oddly shaped frilled shark, normally found between about 2000 and 3300 feet deep (600 - 1,000 meters), was found near the surface off Japan. It may have come up from the depths due to illness, for it was in poor shape and died shortly after being filmed.
  2. Jan.: Hydrothermal vent glows blue! Researchers from JAMSTEC (in Japan) report that a vent in the Okinawa Trough emits a mysterious blue glow (a color previously never reported at a vent).
  3. Feb.: Seafloor Methane creates undersea hills, MBARI scientists report from the Arctic
  4. Feb.: Deep-sea squid filmed using light to stun its prey. Japanese scientists documented a high-speed attack with flashing lights by a squid (Taningia danae) formerly thought to be a slow swimmer.
  5. Feb: New Zealand fishermen catch a COLLOSAL SQUID in Antarctic waters; the Mesonychoteuthis hamiltoni weighs about 450kg (990lb) and is the first of this species to be landed intact. Collosal squid are thought be be larger overall than the more famous Giant Squid.
  6. Mar.: Expedition sets sail to study strange Atlantic seafloor at 3000m where there appears to be NO CRUST!
  7. Mar.: MBARI to deploy deep-sea cable for monitoring deep-sea life and environmental parameters. The cable, to be finished this month, will form a loop around the deep parts of Monterey Canyon.
  8. Mar. MBARI researchers report the discovery of a new globular, pelagic deep-sea worm.
  9. Mar: Rare deep squid caught off Florida: Only a few specimens ofAsperoteuthis acanthoderma have ever been found; this is the first in the Atlantic. It is gelatinous and has glowing lures on its arms.
  10. Feb. (out of order): The vibrations of hydrothermal vents may help fish avoid being cooked
  11. Apr.: New deep hydrothermal vents discovered: a new species of anchored jelly has been found at deep vents on the East Pacific Rise off Costa Rica. These vent areas are new to science, and suggest that many more species are waiting to be discovered.
  12. May: New deep-sea species reported in Antarctic waters and sediment: researchers collected specimens down to about 20,000 ft (6000m) and found carnivorous sponges, hundreds of new species of isopods and worms.
  13. June: ROV exploration of a deep-sea canyon yields surpising findings: the Grand-Canyon-sized feature off Portugal has deep coral reefs, sand-dune "deserts" and boulders washed from shore. A shark was spotted at 3600m deep, well below the usual depths of sharks (see 2006 story #5 about the lack of sharks in the abyss).
  14. July: Deep-sea reef of glass sponges reported off Washington State coast. The reef is rich with life and may be powered by methane seeps nearby. Some of the sponges look similar to the ones we found in 2001 near methane seeps off California.
  15. July: Winged octopod and other "quirky" deep-sea organisms found in canyon off Eastern Canada.
  16. Aug.: American icebreaker mapping Arctic sea floor: as the Arctic ice cap melts, there is growing interest (especially in Russia, Denmark and Canada) in exploiting resources such as oil. The U.S. is planning to map the seafloor in detail for scientific reasons, although a Russian spokesperson asserts that the US is also hoping to exploit resources.
  17. Aug.: New and strange species discovered on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge: a 5-week expedition conducted as part of the CENSUS OF MARINE LIFE explored the undersea mountains from 800 to 3,500 meters.
  18. Oct.: Life explored in Bering Sea canyons ignites conservation debate: deep-sea discoveries in two canyons in the Bering Sea shelf are creating concerns about fisheries impacts on unique species. The Bering Sea shelf is the most heavily fished area on Earth, and trawling in these canyons could destroy deep corals, slow-growing fishe populations, etc.
  19. Oct.: New deep-sea species: a black jelly, worm with squidlike tentacles, and swimming sea cucumber--discovered in an isolated deep basin near the Phillipines ( Celebes Sea).
  20. Oct.: Numerous new species of archaea and bacteria reported at hydrothermal vents off Oregon.
  21. Dec: Biodiversity of dee-sea benthos correlates with ecosystem efficiency: A team led by R. Danovaro (Italy) examined 116 different deep-sea bottom sites, focusing mainly on nematodes, the most widespread animals on earth. They found that the efficiency of recycling of organic matter exponentially increases with diversity of nematode species. Threats to deep-sea biodiversity may impact the entire ocean, which depends on recycling of nutrients from the deep.
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2006 NEWS: (most recent items at end of list!)

  1. Jan.: Severe decline in deep-sea trawled species revealed: deep fish including grenadiers are rapidly being depleted by fisheries.
  2. Jan.: Large deposit of methane hydrate found 15mi off Los Angeles, in a mud volcano (reported by Hein et al. in the Feb. issue of Geology)
  3. Jan.: Male anglerfish reported to be world's smallest vertebrate. The male of Photocorynus spiniceps anglers is only 1/4 inch long. As with other anglerfish, it is a parasite that spends most of its life clamped on the skin of a larger female.
  4. Mar.: New species (in a new family) of deep-sea crustacean reported. The animal, named Kiwa hirsuta , looks like a hairy lobster or galatheid crab; it was found at 2300m depth last year south of Easter Island during an expedition led by Robert Vrijenhoek of the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute.
  5. Mar: Depth limit of 3000m for sharks documented: using data from extensive surveys, I.G. Priede of the University of Aberdeen and co-workers show that there are no sharks below about 3000m depth. Considering that average ocean depth is about 4000m and goes down to about 11,000m, this discovery shows that most of the volume of the seas is shark-free.
  6. May: New species of zooplankton and fish found in the deep Atlantic. A 3-week trawl study was conducted as part of the Census of Marine Life, which aims to catalog marine species before significant changes occur as a result of increasing climate disturbances.
  7. Apr.-May: New eruptions appear to be occurring at the 9-North vent site on the East Pacific Rise.
  8. Apr. Hydrothermal-vent worms prefer hot water in the laboratory. Paralvinella tubeworms, which live around hydrothermal vents in the Pacific, were kept at high pressure in a lab chamber with a temperature gradient by Girguis and Lee. They found that the worms moved into areas of the aquarium that were as hot as 50C. This is close to the record temperature for a eukaryote. Reported in the Apr. 14 Science.
  9. May-June: Scientists observe deep-sea volcano in mid-eruption.
  10. July: Deep-sea photo competition: see excellent pictures of deep-sea critters, from the Kongsberg Underwater Image Competition at the 11th Internat'l Deep-Sea Biology meeting in Southampton in July 2006. See also the 13-July-06 issue of Nature p.116
  11. Aug.: Microbes found in a carbon-dioxide "lake" under the seafloor off Taiwan, at 1.4 km depth. The existence of these microbes increases our knowledge of habitats where life might be found on other worlds.
  12. Nov.: Weird seep creatures surveyed near New Zealand: in a submersible study at 1 km depth, scientists photographed new species at the first cold seep to be studied in the southwestern Pacific.
  13. Dec.: Census of Marine Life releases 2006 report on amazing life forms discovered at all ocean depths -- including shrimp once thought to be extinct and a deep-sea single-celled organism visible to the naked eye.
  14. Dec.: Giant squid filmed ALIVE: a research team from Japan reported this in early Dec. It is being stated as the first-ever movie of live giant squid, although another Japanese team reported the same thing in Sept. 2005 (see Item #18 under 2005 below)
  15. Dec.: Subsurface vent microbes can fix nitrogen at record-high temperatures: nitrogen-fixing microbes are essential to food chains. This study from the University of Washington reveals a vent microbe that can do this at 92C, a record high.
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2005 NEWS: (most recent items at end of list!)

  1. Jan.: An EMAIL HOAX is circulating about deep-sea animals supposedly washed up by the terrible tsunami last month. These animals were actually collected by a deep-sea expedition in 2003 and are featured at the National Oceans Office of Australia.
  2. Feb.: New species of deepwater coral reported off S. California. The black coral was discovered by submersible at 90 to 220 m depths, not very deep in terms of deep-sea biology, but deep enought to have been undiscovered until now. Pictures are available at a NMFS/NOAA website.
  3. (a) Feb.: Foraminifera discovered in sediments of the Mariana Trench: in the ocean's deepest sediments, these protists appear to be thriving under 1000 atm of pressure. Foraminifera (forams for short) are unicellular; they build shells of CaCO3 although the Marianas species are said to be soft-walled. As eukaryotes, forams are advanced cells with nuclei and other organelles, and thus do NOT represent one of earth's earliest life forms, as erroneously stated in some articles (the earliest life forms were PROKARYOTES--archaea and bacteria). Forams may, however, represent one of the earliest EUKARYOTIC life forms. Foram remains often dominate deep-sea sediments elsewhere, and can be converted into limestone (indeed, the Great Pyramids of Egypt are built out of foram limestone).
    (b) Feb.: Are some so-called COLD SEEPS not actually SEEPS? Geologist Charles Paull at MBARI has found evidence that some "seeps" in the Monterey Canyon of California are not sites of seeping water with sulfides.
  4. March: How enteropneust worms make unusual spiral patterns in deepsea mud revealed: Mysterious spiral patterns in the deepsea mud have now been explained by Holland et al. (17 March Nature). More information and pictures from this study are found here.
  5. (a) March: Unusual organisms found at the Lost City are described in the 4-March-2005 issue of Science. The Lost City (see news story #7 in year 2001, below) on the MidAtlantic Ridge is a hydrothermal vent area that is quite different from other vent sites, having little sulfide and more hydrogen and methane. Note that the online news story has a significant ERROR: it says that microbes at other vents use carbon dioxide as an energy source. This is false. Carbon dioxide is a carbon source for producers to make sugar. Another source of this article is here.
    5(b) March: Researchers sequence genome of deepsea bacterium in hopes of explaining pressure adaptations: Bartlett and colleagues at Scripps discovered that a deepsea photobacterium may have 2 sets of genes--one for high-pressure and one for lower pressures (Science, Mar. 4 issue).
  6. May: "Eel City" discovered on new volcano: researchers are exploring a new volcano emerging under the sea near Samoa. They found swarms of eels living in cracks in the rock. It is not known what they eat, and such swarms have never been seen before in the deep sea.
  7. May and Feb: Did deep-sea hydrogen sulfide cause the great Permian extinction? Geologists at Penn State present evidence that sudden releases of this toxic gas from the deep sea could have caused massive deaths (Geology, May 2005; Science News 28-May-05, p.339; online news story from Feb. 2005)
  8. June: A New Zealand-USA joint expedition is studying undersea volcanoes in the South Pacific, with many startling discoveries.
  9. June: How does life in the deep get sufficient food? A new study by Robison and colleagues at MBARI finds that mucus "sinkers" are a major source. Sinkers are sloughed-off mucus nets of larvaceans--midwater animals related to benthic sea squirts. See the article in the June 10, 2005 Science.
  10. June: Microbe that uses hydrothermal-vent light to photosynthesize reported: Beatty et al. (in the June 28 Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA) have collected and cultivated a green sulfur bacterium from 2500m at vents on the East Pacific Rise. They present evidence that they can capture energy from the faint infrared glow of the vents. (A former student of mine, Tracey Martinson, is a co-author!)
  11. July: MBARI researchers report new type of siphonophore that attracts prey with bioluminescence: siphonophores, relatives of the Portuguese Man O' War, normally use bioluminescence for defense only.
  12. July: New ecosystem at cold seeps discovered under Antarctic Ice shelf: at 850 m deep, newly discovered cold seeps off Antarctica were found after the Larsen Ice Shelf collapsed in 2002. These are the first seeps studied in near-freezing water. They harbor as-yet-unidentified clams and bacteria.
  13. July: Is the giant squid a cannibal? Researchers at the University of Tasmania studying stomach contents of giant squids found fragments of tentacles from other giant squid.
  14. July.: Depths of Arctic Ocean teeming with life: An expedition from the Univ. of Alaska has been exploring the depths of the Arctic, finding unexpectedly high abundances of cod, squid, and other animals, and new species of worms, jellies, and other animals.
  15. Aug.: "The Life Aquatic" article in the 18-Aug-05 issue of Nature describes the life of deep-sea biologist Cindy Lee Van Dover, one of the leading explorers of hydrothermal vents.
  16. Aug.: Northern-most hydrothermal vents discovered in Arctic Ocean: scientists on a Norwegian-led expedition found these vents at 71N latitude, north of Iceland, at 500-700m depth. They may harbor tubeworms, which are currently only known to be in the Pacific.
  17. Sept.: Deep-sea sharks are being devastated off NW Europe by fishing fleets. Due to depletion of shallow fish, gill nets are being dropped to 800-1200m now. As the nets are not checked daily, many ensnarled fish die, including slow-breeding sharks. See New Scientist 24-Sept.-2005 p4.
  18. Sept.: GIANT SQUID PHOTOGRAPHED LIVE FOR THE FIRST TIME! Japanese researchers obtained the photos last year of the Bonin islands at 900m depth; the data have just now been published in the Royal Society Journal.
  19. Nov.: New Scientsis 12-Nov-2005 has a special 16-page story on THE DEEP. This includes separate articles on new discoveries, reproduction in the darkness, and "zombie" worms recently discovered on whale carcasses.
  20. Dec.: Parental care by a deep-sea squid reported in Nature 15-Dec-05 p929. Seibel et al. observed Gonatus onyx carrying and aerating masses of developing eggs, probably the first report of post-spawning parental care by a squid.
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2004 NEWS: (most recent items at end of list!)

  1. Feb.: New species of deep-sea jelly discovered in the deep-sea by MBARI researchers (work done in 2003, published in 2004)
  2. May: Asphalt in the Deep! Hydrocarbon-seeps of asphalt reported in the deep Gulf of Mexico. Resembling paved roads, these unusual seeps were found near collapsed salt domes, where various tar was apparently squeezed out like lava. Various animals such as tubeworms, clams and mussels were found on or near the asphalt.
  3. May: Undersea volcano reported near Antarctica. A young volcanic seamount, rising to within 275m of the surface, has been confirmed on the shelf off N. Antarctica. Its location on a shelf is unusual.
  4. May: Scientists explore Marianas Back-Arc spreading center, witnessing an undersea eruption and discovering unique biological communities.
  5. July: Mysterious deepsea blobs that occasionally wash ashore turn out to be old whale blubber. See also News Item #13 in 2003
  6. July: El Nino affects deep-sea animals even at 2.5 miles (4 km) depth: Drs. H. Ruhl and K. Smith found that sea cucumbers and other deep-sea animals are affected by the food supply of the surface waters which in turn changes drastically during an El Nino event. Reported in the 23 July issue of Science and 24 July issue of Science News.
  7. Aug.: A feature article on deep-sea corals appeared in the Aug. 7 issue of Science News
  8. Aug.: New animal species from the Mid-Atlantic Ridge (including squid, anglerfish) reported from a biodiversity survey this month, conducted as part of the Census of Marine Life.
  9. Sept.: Seismic surveys by oil companies may be killing giant squid. Large numbers of dead giant squid off Spain may be related to oil exploration.
  10. Oct.: Ancient fungal spores from deep-sea sediments revived in lab. Fungal spore up to 430,000 years old were recovered in core sediments at 6k m deep in the Chagos Trench off India. In the lab, the spores were found to be still viable!
  11. Dec.: Giant squid to be plastinated for public display. Artist Von Hagens, known for his sculptures made by preserving human bodies with plastic polymer, will preserve giant squid from New Zealand.
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2003 NEWS: (most recent items at end of list!)
  1. Hypothesis of Black-Sea Deluge as Noah's Flood is Challenged. See the original story below on the idea that a massive flood from the Mediterranean to the Black Sea (thousands of years ago) gave rise to the Noah legend. Researchers have been using deep-sea technology to look for evidence deep in the Black Sea. New research contradicts the hypothesis. The question is still open.
  2. Jan. 11: Bacteria found deep under the sea floor. S. Giovannoni of Oregon State University and colleagues report tghe discovery of microbes living in fluids in the Earth'c crust 300m below the Juan de Fuca Ridge. They suggest that there is an enormous microbial ecosystem in the crust that is independent of sunlight. See the 11-Jan issue of New Scientist, p.13, or click the link above.
  3. Jan. 18: Unexpectedly high activity of hydrothermal venting found in Arctic Ridge. H. Edmonds and colleagues found that the Gakkel Ridge under the ice of the Arctic Ocean has more hydrothermal vents that geologist predicted. As the ocean is isolated, these vents may have undiscovered species of vent animals and microbes. Click the link above, or See Jan. 18 Science News, p.37.
  4. Jan.-Feb: Robotic probes explore the oceans. In recent years, several types of robotic vehicles have been designed to explore, measure and map the deep ocean. Two new articles on these give details: Nature v.421 p. 468 (30-Jan-03); and Science News 1-Feb-03 p. 75.
  5. Jan. 31: Resources of the deep sea: An article by P. Rona in the 31-Jan-03 Science, p.673, discusses the mineral and petroleum resources of the deep ocean floor. Unique mineral deposits form in the deep from hydrothermal activity.
  6. Apr. 02: Collosal squid caught in the Antarctic: An intact but dead Mesonychoteuthis hamiltoni, the collosal squid known only from 6 specimens, was caught near Antarctica. This species is much larger than the famous Giant Squid! It may grow well over 20m/66ft in length, though no one knows. See also item 17 below.
  7. Apr 26: "A Rocky Start" is an article in the Apr. 26 Science News on recent research on the origin of life. In particular, conditions at hydrothermal vents along with iron-sulfide catalysis might have been the key.
  8. May 7: New species of huge jelly found in the bathypelagic: off Central California, researchers from MBARI have discoverd "Big Red," a meter-wide jelly with short arms instead of tentacles, which they think lives between 600 and 1500m (bathypelagic). Little else is known.
  9. June 7: A record high temperature for life was reported by Kashefi and colleagues at the Amer. Soc. Microbiology meeting in May. They report isolating a archaeon (archaebacterium) from volcanic fluid on the Pacific seafloor; the microbe can grow at 121C and even live at 130C (the previous record was 113C). See the June 7 issue of Science News, p.366.
  10. May 31: The earliest life on Earth was probably in hot springs or hydrothermal vents, according to a new genetic analysis showing the relatedness of all major life groups correlated by thermal tolerance. The analysis yields an evolutionary tree that shows the earliest life forms were adapted to very high temperatures. See New Scientist May 31 2003, p.20, or click the link.
  11. June 14: The Challenger Deep in the Mariana Trench has now been found to be the result of one tectonic plate being forced under another plate in a way that is causing the first plate to be torn in two. This creates the great depth of this trench. See New Scientist June 14, 2003, p.16.
  12. June 26: More information was released on the odd Gakkel Ridge, the spreading center hidden under the Arctic icecap. This ridge is deeper and slower-spreading than other ridge areas, and has unexpectedly high hydrothermal activity. See Nature 26-June 2003, p.932.
  13. July 2: Mysterious deep-sea blob washes ashore in Chile. It might be a rare 40-foot (12-meter) giant octopus from 3000m, or something more mundane such as a piece of whale skin, or a conglomeration of plankton. See news item #12 under "2002 NEWS" below for a real deep-sea octopus. UPDATEs DEC. 2003/July 2004: Researchers use molecular analysis to discover that the blob is skin from a sperm whale!
  14. July 26: Hydrothermal Mineral formations at the Lost City on the MidAtlantic Ridge may be at least 30,000 years old. See Science NewsJuly 26, p. 52. See 2005 news for an update! Meanwhile, an expedition explored the methane seeps of the Blake Ridge off the SE USA.
  15. July 26-Aug. 10: Iron-eating microbes on the Titanic are described in an article in New Scientist, July 26, p. 36..
  16. July 31: Larve of hydrothermal vent animals may spread to other vents from their parents by following currents within a rift valley. Thomson et al. report in Nature v424 p545 (July 31) on these vent-induced currents that stay within the valley of the Endeavor Ridge off Washington State.
  17. Aug. 2: The giant and collosal squids are discussed in an article in New Scientist2-Aug-03, p. 24. See item 6 above also.
  18. Aug. 21: A deep-sea sponge's skeleton is a fiber-optic device as good as or better than human-made the link, or see Nature Aug. 21 issue.
  19. Aug. 22: Seamounts (undersea mountains) off Cape Cod were explored in July, and a news story appeared in the Aug. 22 issue of Science. Seamounts, of which there may be 30,000 in the sea, are largely unexplored, and so far have been fouhnd to have many animals species previously unknown. Click the blue link for information on the internet.
  20. Sept. 3: A deep-sea nursery for blob sculpin and an octopus were discovered by MBARI scientists using an ROV on a ridge off N. California. Large numbers of the fish and octopod were found brooding their eggs on the ridge, a behavior not before documented.
  21. Sept. 9 and Aug. 15: Record high temperature found for life discovered: 130C (266F) for a vent microbe (Aug. 15). The discovery was by Dr. D. Lovley and colleagues (Science, Aug. 15 issue), who later reported that these microbes use IRON as an energy source and produce MAGNETITE as a result. Magnetite is the naturally magnetic mineral that humans first used to make compasses.
  22. Oct. 23: The Census of Marine Life is a decade-long project (involving 53 coutries) that hopes to catalogue as many marine species as possible. New species are being found routinely, including new species of deep-sea fish. See also this CBS News Story.
  23. Nov. 6: Jellies are turning out to have a far greater role in ocean ecosystems than previously suspected, especially in the deep sea.The 6-Nov-03 issue of Nature (vol. 426, pp12-14) has a news feature on "Close encounters of the jelly kind" describing the latest research with submersibles, etc. An example of a newly discovered deep-sea jelly can be found in this Zootaxa article.
  24. Nov. 7: Hot-vent gastropod has iron-sulfide armor! Waren et al. report in the 7-Nov-03 Science (p. 1007) that a snail from Indian-Ocean hydrothermal vents has unique plates of iron-sulfide crystals covering its foot.
  25. Dec. 17: WHOI (Woods Hole Oceanogr. Inst) announced plans to build a "hybrid" ROV to dive to the greatest ocean depths. The Japanese ROV KAIKO had been the only vehicle that could dive to the deepest depths, visiting the Marianas Trench in 1995. Unfortunately, it was lost at sea in Sept. 2003.
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2002 NEWS: (most recent items generally at end of list!)
  1. Deep-sea animals may hear food falling. M. Klages of the Alfred Wegner Institute has evidence that deep-sea shrimp can detect fresh food falls before they can smell it; sensitive hearing is possibly the mechanism.
  2. Novel type of Archaea discovered at a hydrothermal vent. Huber et al. discovered an archaeal microbe growing on an apparent host microbe at a hot vent off Iceland. The new microbe has the smallest genome yet known for life on earth and its DNA does not match known Archaea types. See Nature 2-May-02, p. 27 and 63.
  3. Microbiology of hydrothermal vents is described (by Reysenbach and Shock) in a special section of Science on Environmental Microbiology, 10 May 2002, p. 1077.
  4. Deep canyon carries DDT into the abyss: Researchers at MBARI and Moss Landing found that the deep canyon off Monterey, Calif., has allowed the pesticide DDT to get into sediments below 3000m in the deep. See 11-May-02 New Scientist, p. 18
  5. First exploration of a deep Seamount: From May 17-24, an expedition led by MBARI conducted the first detailed study of a seamount (undersea mountain)--the Davidson Seamount/volcano off central California. The life found includes flytrap anemones, frogfish, mysterious rare eels such as a halosaur. See the NOAA website. or the CBS newstory on the discovery of giant coral and mystery mollusks.
  6. New undersea mountains discovered; call for a new era of exploration. Incredibly, previously unknown volcanoes and seamounts as high as 2500 m (8000 ft) were recently found in the South Pacific. See Science 24-May-02 p. 1386. At an international meeting in Mid-May, oceanographers from around the world called for a new international effort to explore the undescribed areas of our planet.
  7. "Original" hydrothermal vent disappears: the so-called Rose Garden, the very first deepsea vent with giant tubeworms ever discovered, has disappeared, probably destroyed by fresh lava. Found in 1977, the Rose Garden revolutionized our ideas about life in the oceans. See Science News 6-18-02, p.382, or the Discovery Channel news site.
  8. Deepsea and shallow reefs formed by microbial oxidation of methane: In the 9-Aug-2002 issue of Science (p.1013), Michaelis et al. discuss how microbes may play a role in forming carbonate rocks and reefs by this process: CH4 (methane) + SO4 + Ca --> CaCO3 (rock) + H2S +H2O
  9. Expedition explores massive gas hydrates off Oregon: a deepsea drilling project was completed in early September to assess gas hydrates off the Oregon coast. These are deposits of frozen methane that contain (in total) more energy than all known oil deposits (see below for more information on these deposits).
  10. Undersea montoring network funded for Monterey Bay: Quote from the press release: "...the network will consist of undersea cables and docking stations to provide power and high-speed data links for a variety of oceanographic devices.....this network will allow real-time, continuous, long-term monitoring of conditions beneath the surface of the bay." This includes the deepsea, as one cable will be at 4000ft (1200m). See also News Item 1 under year 2000 below.
  11. Naked retinas of hydrothermal-vent crabs may have evolved to detect the weak light produced by the vents. Jinks et al. report in Nature 7-Nov-02 (p. 30 and 68) that the larval crabs, which live in the plankton and not at the vents, have normal compound eyes, but as the animals mature, the eyes become non-optical amorphous naked retinas. These cannot form images but may have much better ability to detect faint light.
  12. Giant gelatinous deepsea octopus, the largest known of this type of animal, was trawled up in March 2002 off New Zealand. Read about it and see a photo at the BBC news website.
  13. Whipnose anglerfish in the deep was caught on video, surprisingly swimming upside down, probing the sediment with its long dorsal fin (Oct. 2002). See Science News162:262, or the original video at WHOI Deepsea Observatory site (look for "gigantactinid" fish).
  14. Oil tanker sinks to the abyssal plain off Spain (19 Nov 2002). Lying at 3.5km deep, the wreck of the Prestige tanker caused a massive oil-spill disaster on the coast of Spain and France. Plans are being made to pump the remaining oil from the wreck, from a depth never before attempted. See New Scientist 14-Dec.-02 p.15.
  15. Gas hydrates (frozen natural gas and water) are found in huge quantities in deepsea sediments. New studies (Nature 12-Dec-02 p.622 and 656) suggest that some of these deposits may melt (due to global warming) and escape the seafloor along faultlines. This is of concern since natural gas (methane) is a far more potent greenhouse gas than CO2.
  16. Mysterious deep-sea sound recorded again in June 2002: first heard in 1997 on the US Navy's deep-sea submarine-tracking hydrophone network, this mysterious sound from the abyss is thought to be from a huge unknown animal.
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2001 NEWS: (most recent items at end of list!)
  1. How do larvae of hydrothermal-vent animals find new homes? Marsh et al. report in Nature411:77 (3-May-2001) on the potential for dispersal of giant-tubeworm larvae, which can survive about 38 days.
  2. "Probing Gas Hydrates"--a review article on the huge quantities of frozen natural gas in the deepsea in American Scientist, Vol 89 (May-June 2001), p.244-251. For more detail on this huge fossil-fuel reservoir, see below.
  3. NOAA Monitors Eruption off Oregon coast: Apr. 6, 2001: an eruption on the ridge off Oregon and N. California was detected by the naval hydrophone/sonar network
  4. First pictures released from hydrothermal vents in the Indian ocean (Mar-May 2001): start at the WHOI DIVE and DISCOVER website.
  5. The osmolyte TMAO of deepsea animals protects several proteins against high pressure: work in our laboratory reported in J. Exp. Zool. 289:172 (Feb. 2001). For more information, see Research in our Laboratory (go to Main Contents & select HIGH PRESSURE).
  6. Giant tubeworms fix carbon as fast as plants: Researchers at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute report measurements in the lab showing that giant Riftia tubeworms (from hydrothermal vents) are among the fastest growing organisms on Earth. Using their symbiotic bacteria, they can fix carbon in the absence of sunlight as fast as many plants. See news story in the June 2 '01 New Scientist, p.12
  7. New type of hydrothermal vent at the Lost City is described in detail in the July-01 Nature p.127 and 145. This site is unique because the vents are on old seafloor rather than new, and because spires and chimneys are carbonate rather than sulfide deposits found at other vents. The initial discovery was reported earlier--see item #5 in 2000 below.
  8. Amazing microbes that eat methane: bacteria capable of using methane in the absence of oxygen have been described at methane seeps in the deepsea off N. California. Methane trapped in deepsea sediments may be the dominant hydrocarbon energy source on earth, but it was previously thought that no microbes could use it without oxygen. See 20-July-01 Science, p. 418 and p484. See my Methane Seeps page for details on this California site.
  9. Hot-vent microbe decoded: Diversa Corporation has deciphered the complete genetic code of Pyrolobus fumarii, a microbe that lives at the hottest known temperatures (up to 113 degrees C), 3.5 km deep in hydrothermal vents in the Atlantic. 90% of the microbe's 2000 genes have not been found in other microbes, and may have industrial applications. Reported in the Oct. 6, 2001 New Scientist, and on Diversa's website on Sept. 25.
  10. New hydrothermal-vent communties in Indian Ocean found: Science News, 15-Sept-01 p. 165 and Science294: 818, Oct. 26 '01--reports on recent expeditions to the Indian Ocean ridge found hot vents, showing previously unknown species, including shrimps, mussels, anemones. The December '01 Discover magazine has a feature article on the expedition.
  11. Hydrothermal-vent bacteria may lead to better sunburn protection: New Scientist3-Nov-01 reports that a French company is studying compounds from hydrothermal-vent bacteria that might protect human skin from damaging chemicals generated by excess sunlight exposure. The bacteria use these compounds to protect themselves from damaging free radicals generated at the vents.
  12. Hydrothermal-vent worm larvae are not heat-adapted: Science News24-Nov-01 and 18-Oct-01 Nature report on a study by Gaill et al. on larvae of the vent worm Alvinella . The adult worm lives between 20 and 80 degrees C, but larvae only tolerate 2 to 14 degrees. At 2 degrees--the typical deepsea temperature away from vents--the larvae become dormant, and in this state they probably drift until encountering a warmer location.
  13. Weird deepsea squidwith spaghetti-like arms that bend like having elbows, and sporting very large fins, has been spotted over the years, but never captured. It lives at 2,000 meters and deeper. The existence of this elusive species has now been documented by Dr. M. Vecchione of the Smithsonian, by collecting reports and photos from researchers and oilrig divers. See. Science NewsDec.22/29 '01 p.390 and ScienceDec. 21. See PHOTOS at the MBARI web site.
  14. Arctic reveals volcanoes and hot springs under the ice: on the Gakkel Ridge under the polar ice cap, a US Coast Guard ship discovered volcanic activity and hot vents that may harbor new life forms --Nov 2001
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2000 NEWS: (most recent items at end of list!)
  1. Neptune's Net: Undersea Sensory Network planned: John Delaney of UW and Alan Chave of WHOI have proposed a sophisticated Internet-linked network of deepsea sensors, cameras, and autonomous subs (to be deployed off the Northwestern US and Canada, around active tectonic areas). Click the UW link at the beginning of this paragraph, and/or see the Dec. 16, 2000 issue of New Scientist.
  2. Methytaurine, a rare compound, is extremely high in cold-seep tubeworms: work in our lab reported in Physiol. Biochem. Zool. 73:629. (Dec. '00). For more information, see Research in our Laboratory (go to main CONTENTS & select High Pressure).
  3. Giant Bubbles of Deepsea Methane: can they sink ships?: see the Dec. 2, 2000 issue (p20) of New Scientist for evidence that monster bubbles of methane might be released from some deepsea sediments.
  4. Deepsea reveals gigantic landslides at time of dinosaur extinction: at 4000 meters deep off Bermuda, researchers from Texas A&M found fossils and massive sediments indicative of a huge landslide. The materials dates from 65 million years ago, the time when a large asteroid seems to have hit the Earth and triggered the great Cretaceous extinction. See the December issue of Geology
  5. Exotic vents found in undersea mountains: an Alvin expedition (Nov.-Dec. 2000) reports the discovery of a huge field of percolating hydrothermal vents, on an undersea mountain in the Atlantic where no vents were expected.
  6. Abyssal storms, breathtaking biota, and methane hydrates explored in the Gulf of Mexico (Oct. 2000). A research expedition encountered current storms in the deep sea, investigated gas hydrate deposits, and found new communities of animals.
  7. Methane-using microbes off Oregon: in methane-bearing sediments, two kinds of microbes that use methane for energy have been isolated. See the Oct. 5 Nature and Science NewsOct-7-00, p. 231.
  8. Rare deepsea corals wrecked by fishing: the Darwin Mounds, rare deep corals at 1000 m of Scotland, were discovered in 1998. At least 800 animals species live on coral mounds up to 6 m high. Trawls of deepsea fishing boats are destroying it. See New Scientist23-Sept-00, p.15.
  9. Earthquakes alter hydrothermal vents and may thus affect the life around them. See this study by Johnson et al. on vents off the Washington coast, Science14-Sept-00, p. 174.
  10. Noah's (& Gilgamesh/Utnapishtim's) Flood in the Black Sea? Pioneering deepsea explorer Bob Ballard has found evidence--remains of buildings in the sea bottom mud--that a catastrophic flood occurred in the Black Sea 7000 yrs ago. Initial evidence for this flood was originally found by W. Pitman and W. Ryan, who suggested it could be the source of the nearly identical babylonian (Gilgamesh/Utnapishtim) and biblical (Noah) legends of a great flood in the mideast (see their recent book, Noah's Flood : The New Scientific Discoveries About the Event That Changed History). See Nat'l Geographic expedition site for reports on the reconstructed flood and its relationship to the ancient legend.
  11. Origin of Life at Hydrothermal Vents? B. Rasumssen in Australia reports in Nature405, p. 676, 2000, finding possible microbial fossils in 3-billion-year-old vent deposits. See also 1999 and 1998 news below for more studies on vents and origins of life.
  12. Life Below the Bottom: is the greatest repository of life on earth in the crust under the seafloor? See the June 2000 issue of Scientific American
  13. First thermophilic eubacterium from a hydrothermal vent has been isolated and grown: see Nature20-Apr-00 p. 835.
  14. Unearthly Microbe: A new species of archaea has been isolated from deepsea hot vent water. Named Saganella after Carl Sagan, this microbe is unusual in that it can survive from room temperature to 90C and grow from 50 to 90C. Most life thrives well only in a narrow temperature range due to thermal effects on biomolecules. J. Baross and team of U.Washington reported this finding at the Feb. AAAS meeting; news report is in Science3-Mar-00, p.1580.
  15. The oldest known marine invertebrate may be a hydrocarbon-seep tubeworm in the Gulf of Mexico (reported by Bergquist et al., Nature403:499 (Feb. 3, 2000); see NY Times article.
  16. The deepest known colony of shellfish has been reported by a Japanese expedition, at 7326 m in the Japan Trench. They live off bacteria which in turn life off seeping sulfides released by tectonic subduction forces. See New Scientist25 Dec99/1 Jan00, p. 17, or Marine Ecol. Progress Series190, p.17.
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1999 NEWS: (most recent items at end of list!)
  1. Researchers at the University of Calif. Museum of Paleontology report that some ichthyosaurs (which lived 90 to 250 million yrs ago) had eyes up to 10 inches in diameter, and bones damaged by the bends, suggesting that they sometime took dives into deep water. See the Dec. 21 '99 New York Times article or Nature 16-Dec-99 p.747
  2. The Osmolyte TMAO of deepsea fish stabilizes an enzyme under pressure: work in our lab is described in Dec. 11 '99 New Scientist (p.22) . We also report finding record high levels of TMAO in several groups of deepsea fishes, and in shrimps, crabs, and other invertebrates: The Biological Bulletin, 196:18-25, 1999. For more information, see Research in our Laboratory (go to Main Contents & select HIGH PRESSURE).
  3. Slowdown of Antarctic Deep Water Formation?--an article in the Nov. 5 '99 Science (p.1132, and news story p.1061) provides evidence that the sinking of cold water off Antarctica, which provides the abyss with some of its oxygenated water and removes CO2 from the surface, may be slowing down.
  4. Flammable Ice--an article in the Nov. '99 Scientific American (p.77; no internet article) describes in more detail the methane-hydrate ices of the deepsea, their potential use and dangers to the environment (see also other methane hydrate articles below).
  5. Toxic metals from hydrothermal vents--especially mercury--have been found in relatively shallow water (200m) off New Zealand. See Nature 401, p.755 (Oct. 21, '99) or Geology 27, p.931 ('99).
  6. Diseases from the Deep--an article in the June '99 Scientific American (p.22) describes how pathogenic microbes can spread for hundreds of miles via deepsea currents.
  7. Dumping CO2 into the Abyss--an article in the 15-May-99 issue of New Scientist (p.14) describes proposals to inject carbon dioxide into the deep sea, in order to slow global warming. At great depths, liquid CO2 is denser than water and should stay put. But effects on abyssal life are unknown.
  8. Deep-sea Diet?--the 14-May-99 issue of Science (p.1139 and 1174) discusses evidence that food supply to the deep Northeastern Pacific is declining, though paradoxically the oxygen consumption of the seafloor fauna has not changed.
  9. Deep-sea Eyes: the 27-Mar-99 issue of New Scientist has an article on the unusual eyes of deep-sea fishes.
  10. VENT GLOW Mechanism Solved?: Researchers D. Tapley and M. Shick may have found what makes the mysterious glow of the deepsea hydrothermal vents. Reported in the 20-Mar-99 New Scientist, their work shows that reactions of sulfide in vent water with oxygen in seawater are luminescent.
  11. Suckers as Light Organs: Johnsen et al. show in the 11-Mar-99 issue of Nature (p113) that some deep-sea octopods have suckers that emit light, perhaps for communication and/or luring prey.
  12. Submersible Lights Damage Deep-Sea Eyes?: Herring et al. show in the 11-Mar-99 issue of Nature (p116) that eyes of deep Atlantic hydrothermal-vent shrimp are often severely damaged, possibly due to the intense light of research submersibles.
  13. Sinking a ship onto the abyssal plain: Feb. 99: a grounded ship on the Oregon coast will be towed and sunk to the abyssal plain. See McGrawHill site on the environmental issues.
    UPDATE, Mar. 3-onwards: in a raging storm, the ship tore loose from its tow line, ran aground again; then it was re-towed to sea and sunk with several rounds of explosives and a torpedo.
  14. Huge Undersea Meteor Crater, 150 million years old, found off Scandinavia; click for full BBC report
  15. DEEP-DIVING MAMMALS: a new method of seeing what a deep-diving seal does has been developed at Texas A&M, using a tiny camera strapped to the animals' backs. See Discovery Channel story on the Critter Cam
  16. ORIGIN OF LIFE: did life begin at hydrothermal vents in the sea? 1) Japanese researchers have created an artificial vent, and shown that simple proteins can be synthesized abiotically. See Science v.283, p.831, or New Scientist 13-Feb-99 p.19. The Jan. 9, 1999 issue of Science News reviews the evidence (p24). Also see 1998 news below for other articles and links.
    For recent evidence AGAINST this hypothesis, see the 8-Jan-99 issue of Science (p.155 and 220). Galtier et al. extrapolate thermal stabilities of ribosomes to ancient archaebacterial ancestors, and conclude they could NOT have worked in hydrothermal vents.
  17. DEEP-SEA REPRODUCTION: Fujiwara et al. (Deep-Sea Research 45:1881, 1998) document that elevated temperature can trigger spawning in cold-seep clams at 1,100 m deep; cues for reproduction in the deep see have been largely undiscovered before this. A news story on this is in the 21-Jan-99 issue of Nature, p. 205.
  18. UNDERSEA VOLCANOES and MEGAPLUME "HURRICANES". The March '99 issue of DISCOVER features the discovery of giant hurricane-like plumes of spinning hot water spewed from undersea volcanic eruptions off Oregon. These plumes may help larvae of hydrothermal-vent habitats disperse to new sites. Earlier articles on this topic can be found in New Scientist, 12-Dec-98 (p30) and Science 15-May-98 (v.280:1034-35). A website on the volcanic eruption involved in this study is found at NOAA's Axial Seamount Page.
  19. Life in Deep-sea Low-Oxygen Zones is described by L.Levin in the Sept.-Oct. 2002 issue of American Scientist.Large areas of the deep sea have very low oxygen, due to 1) the lack of light for photosynthesis; 2) low circulation of oxygenated water from the surface, and 3) large amounts of decaying organic material falling from the surface waters (the decaying process uses up oxygen). The article describes what kinds of life can exist in these areas.
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1998 NEWS: (most recent items at end of list!)
  1. Fishing Trawls Damage the Deepsea Floor--see link on this page for 2005 update
  2. Deep-Sea Aquarium--Dec. 1998: The Monterey Bay Aquarium & Research Institute has announced, after many years of testing, the perfection of a public-viewing tank for deep-sea animals. See the Dec. 22, 1998, issue of the NY Times (article with photos).
  3. Deepsea Natural Gas and Oil--Nov. 1998 Scientific American has an article called "Natural Oil Spills" which shows maps and pictures of the oil seeps and gas hydrate formations, and worms that live in them, in them. For more information on the worms, see New Scientist "Extreme Worms" article, July 25 '98. And Science News 14-Nov.-98 reviews the occurrence and potential human of the vast amounts of methane hydrates in the deepsea and beneath the surface. A general description these hydrates can be found at the USGS Gas Hydrates Site.
  4. Origins of Life: Did life first evolve on earth at the hydrothermal vents? Does this give clues to possible life on other worlds such as Europa? For a recent perspective on this, see Science, Apr. 1, 1998; Science July 31, 1998 (p.627&670). Also: in July '98, C. Huber and G. Wachtershauser demonstrate that minerals of hot springs may have catalyzed the first prebiotic protein synthesis (Science 31-July-98, p627). In Sept. '98, researchers from the Carnegie institute reported ammonia, a key building block of life, at the vents (news story: Science, 25-Sept-98, p1936; article: Nature late Sept. '98).
  5. Chlorophyll in Eyes of Deep-Sea Fish: R. H. Douglas et al. report (Nature 4-June-98, p423; and New Scientist 6-June-98, p16) that midwater dragonfish have chlorophyll in their retinas that help them see red light. Red light normally does not exist in the midwater twilight as red wavelengths are absorbed strongly by water (and blue weakly, hence the ocean's color). Thus most deep-sea animals have lost the ability to sense red. But dragonfish have photophores that can make red light, which they use to illuminate prey. This allows the dragonfish's light to be virtually invisible to all but itself (a "sniperscope").
  6. Chemistry and Biology of the Oceans: The July 10, 1998 issue of Science has a special section on this topic, which includes deep-sea vents.
  7. Fawlty Towers--July 1998: Researchers with the black-smoker expedition sponsored by the American Museum of Natural History, the Univ. of Washington, and NASA, retrieved an intact hydrothermal-vent smoker chimney (from the "Fawlty Towers" site). See New Scientist 1-Aug-98, p21 and PBS's NOVA page on this expedition
  8. Underwater Avalanches: In the Mar. 26, 1998 issue of Nature, Rothwell and colleagues report detecting evidence of giant landslides that have drastically altered abyssal plains. These may be triggered by gas hydrates (see 1997 news for more on these hydrates).
  9. Whale Falls: At the Feb. '98 Ocean Sciences meeting, Craig Smith of U. Hawaii reported that whale carcasses sinking to the deep provide a sudden feast for a variety of abyssal animals--hagfish, crabs, sharks that eat the remains, and worms, mussels and others that live off bacterial decomposition and chemosynthesis. The carcasses become a temporary habitat with more species than a hydrothermal vent. Reported in Science Vol 279, Feb. 27, 1998
  10. How hot can animal life live? In Feb. '98 Cary et al. report evidence that a hydrothermal vent worm can tolerate hotspring water up to 80oC in the deep sea (though others have since challenged the evidence). See World's most Heat-tolerant animal article or the Feb. 5, 1998 issue of Nature.
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1996-97 NEWS: (most recent items at end of list!)
  1. TMAO (an osmolyte) is very high in deepsea fishes: initial discovery in our lab reported in J. Exper. Zool. 279:386-391. We also show that TMAO helps stabilize one enzyme's function against pressure disturbance. For more information, see Research in our Laboratory (go to Main Contents & select HIGH PRESSURE).
  2. Undersea Mud Volcanoes and gas hydrates with unique lifeforms reported Feb. 1997
  3. Stunning 3-D images of the seafloor reported by Scientific American June 1997
  4. Creation of New Deepsea hot springs witnessed in 1996
  5. Life in the Heat: In the Feb. 14, 1997 issue of SCIENCE, it was reported that archaebacterial (archaeal) life had been found living in 113oC water in hydrothermal vents off the Azores--the hottest record yet for life.

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For another source of news, see
Craig McClain's Deep-Sea News website

Peter Batson's ExploreTheAbyss website has amazing pictures of deepsea life off New Zealand and other places.
Deep-sea site at, dedicated to marine conservation, education, research and a sea ethic
site for deep-sea videos

RECENT DEEP-SEA EXPLORATIONS are featured at NOAA Ocean Explorer site -- videos of deep-sea vents, volcanoes, etc.

For an overview of deep life and submersibles, see the Smithsonian's How Deep Can They Go page.
GIANT SQUID: For information on, pictures of, and a 1997 expedition to find the Giant Squid: NASA's In Search of the Giant Squid

DEEP ANIMALS: An overview can be found at PBS's DEEP-SEA BESTIARY.
DEPTH ADAPTATIONS--IN ADDITION to information from our lab: A complete lecture on adaptations of life to the deep sea, by Prof. George Somero of Stanford, can be found at BioForum

A nice overview of common and interesting deepsea animals (with some of my pictures) can be found at Sea and Sky.

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    For children:
    • Creeps from the Deep by L. Taylor (1997; Chronicle Books pictures and descriptions of deep-sea fishes.
    • Fountains of Life : The Story of Deep-Sea Vents by E. Gowell (1998; Watts)
    • Creatures that Glow by A. Ganeri (1995; Harry N. Abrams, Inc.)
    • Down Down Down in the Ocean by S. Markle (1999; Walker & Co.)--descriptions and pictures of the ocean through all its major layers.
    • Beneath Blue Waters: Meetings with Remarkable Deepsea Creatures by D. Kovacs (1996).

      For general audiences:

    • Monsters of the Sea by R. Ellis (2001; Lyons Press): the story of deepsea monsters: the legends and the truths behind them
    • Creatures of the Deep by E. Hoyt (2001; Firefly Press): an overview of deepsea life with many color photographs
    • Deep Atlantic by R. Ellis (1996; Lyons Press): an overview of deepsea life and discoveries in the Atlantic ocean
    • The Eternal Darkness by R.D. Ballard (2000; Princeton U. Press): a personal history of deep-sea exploration by one of the pioneers (the scientist/explorer who discovered the Titanic and who was among the first to discover hydrothermal vents).
    • Deep Ocean by T. Rice (2000; Smithsonian): history of oceanography and deep exploration; major habitats of marine life (112 pages)
    • Deep-Ocean Journeys by C. Van Dover (1996; Addison-Welsey): a personal view of deep-sea exploration by the only female pilot of the submersible Alvin.
    • The Universe Below : Discovering the Secrets of the Deep Sea by W. J. Broad, D. Schidlovsky (1998, Touchstone Bks): the story of recent deep-sea exploration.
    • Abyss by C.P. Idyll, Crowell Co., 1971
    • The Deep Sea by B.R. Robison & J. Connor, Monterey Bay Aquarium Press, 1999: very nice overview of the deep, with color pictures
    • Dive to the Deep Ocean by D. Kovacs, 1999 (Raintree)--the story of deepsea exploration
    • Deep New Zealand -- Blue Water, Black Abyss by P. Batson, Canterbury Univ. Press, 2003 -- great photos!
    • Fathoming the Ocean: The Discovery and Exploration of the Deep Sea by H. Rozwadowski, Belknap Press, 2005 -- a chronicle of the early days of deep-sea discovery
    • Descent: The Heroic Discovery of the Abyss by B. Matsen, Pantheon Press, 2005; and The Remarkable Life of William Beebe by C. Gould, Shearwater Press, 2004 -- the story of William Beebe (and Otis Barton) and their pioneering bathysphere dives in the 1930s.

      For scientific/technical detail:

    • Deep-Sea Biology by J.D. Gage & P.A. Taylor, Cambridge Univ. Press, 1992
    • Deep-Sea Fishes by D.J. Randall & A.P. Farrell, Academic Press, 1997
    • The Ecology of Deepsea Hydrothermal Vents by C.L. Van Dover, 2000, Princeton Univ. Press, 2000
    • The Biology of the Deep Ocean by P. Herring, Oxford Univ. Press, 2001

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These are useful links for finding out about marine research around the globe:

CAREERS and Internships in Marine Biology

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