Deep Sea News

Peter Etnoyer

Living polyp of a Swiftia sp. sea fan. Photo credit: Peter Etnoyer, HRI. Many deep-water animals have never been photographed alive in their natural habitat, they’re known only from their pickled state. Dried, dusty, and broken specimens fill museum drawers. “Living specimen photography” captures vital information before a specimen is collected. Remember to “snap” before…

Hexed?

Our expedition to the Twilight Zone is still on hold because of generator problems on the RV Nancy Foster. Now we’ve got Hurricane/Tropical Storm Gustav bearing down on us from the Caribbean. The storm is expected to enter the Gulf of Mexico Sunday morning. So, even if we made it out to the shelf break…

Twilight Zone… the Expedition

100 m deep on Flower Garden Banks. Photo credit FGBNMS/NURC. Like many marine protected areas around the world, most of the seafloor in the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary (FGBNMS) is deeper than the depth limit for recreational and scientific diving (50 m). We call this the “twilight zone“, a poorly known depth zone…

All good things must come to and end, so they may have a new beginning. So begins the next chapter in the history of deep ocean exploration… The NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer was commissioned this week in Seattle, WA. The vessel will be equipped with two deep-sea ROVs capable of broadcasting high-definition video from the…

Sizzle’s got swizzle

“Sizzle” is a global warming comedy, a film directed by Randy Olson of the Shifting Baselines blog. Sizzle has been making the rounds between our respective research institutions here at Deep Sea News. Mine arrived about one month ago in a brightly colored envelope marked “your XXX photos have arrived!” Thanks, Kevin. Appreciate that. So,…

Last year around this time, DSN reported on a Corpus Christi Caller-Times story documenting that 135 sea turtle nests were located in 8,895 hours of surveys over 73,632 miles of Texas beaches. Of these, 128 nests were Kemp’s ridleys (Lepidochelys kempii), six nests were loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta), and one nest was from a…

Who’s faster: Phelps or flounder?

Michael Phelps is faster than a flounder. He swims about 6 mph. But what if he was fighting currents, swimming upstream, and jumping dams? Salmon, dolphin, and blue shark are all faster. Salmon swim 8 mph. Maybe Mike could take them in a sprint. Swordfish and sailfish top the scales at 60 mph. Jennifer Viegas’…

One question squid quiz

Can you name the genus of this deep-sea squid? This is one of those WTF videos that came flying across my desktop today. I had never heard of the genus or seen the video ’til this morning, but even if you don’t study squid, there’s no forgetting this one. The video is attributed to Shell,…

There are a few theories about why sea turtles make occasional excursions into very deep (> 1000 m) waters of the bathyal zone. These involve escape from predation, thermoregulation, and prey availability. In the first two scenarios, sharks are fewer in deep-water, so turtles can evade predation and “cool off” at the same time. Like…

TGIF Video: Pelagic Magic

Rick MacPherson hosts this week’s TGIF video at Malaria, Bedbugs, Sea Lice, and Sunsets. He is advertising the Pelagic Magic Black Water Dive, a special night dive from Jack’s Diving Locker in Kona, Hawaii where you can hang on a string in 60ft. of water with a little flashlight. The dive boat’s called Sharkbait. Just…