Tag: deep sea

Alvin, the Deep Sea Research Sub, Has Spread Invasive Species in the Ocean

By Sarah Zhang | May 25, 2012 11:31 am

Alvin
Alvin during a deep sea mission.

As humans venture out to new corners of the world, so do invasive species. This story is old: mice hid out on Viking boats, plant seeds followed scientists to Antarctica, and, now, limpets have hitched a ride on the deep sea submersible Alvin. This last finding, published in Conservation Biology, surprised scientists, who didn’t think that limpets could survive drastic pressure changes as Alvin surfaced between dives.

Since 1964, Alvin, the little sub that could, has made thousands of scientific dives—from surveying the Titanic to exploring hydrothermal vents. The sub and its sampling gear are cleaned between each dive, but this new limpet discovery suggests a mistake happened somewhere down the line.

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CATEGORIZED UNDER: Living World

Up Close and Personal With the Mysterious "Placental Jellyfish"

By Sarah Zhang | May 18, 2012 1:47 pm

Last week, a video of this mysterious blob floating 5000 feet under the sea was all over the Internet. Was it a whale placenta? A jellyfish? After some collective ooing and aahing, folks on the interwebs put their thinking hats on. Craig McClain  at Deep Sea News dug through the literature and found a 1988 paper describing just such a jellyfish, calling it Deepstaria reticulum.

Now the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute has posted a stunning video of Deepstaria jellyfish. Watch it to learn more about Deepstaria—and to look at pretty images. Win win for a Friday afternoon.

[via Deep Sea News]

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Living World

A Voyage into the Deep: Inside the Plans to Dive the Mariana Trench

By Veronique Greenwood | March 2, 2012 3:19 pm

virgin

Even in the age of satellite imagery, commercial flight, modern medicine, and plenty of other perks unavailable to the explorers of earlier ages, there are still some crannies on Earth left unexplored. But that’s because exploring them is an extreme endeavor. The race to get to the bottom of the Mariana Trench in the Pacific Ocean, the deepest place on Earth, now includes billionaires Richard Branson and James Cameron, each working on specialized submersibles. Eliza Strickland of IEEE Spectrum traveled to the epicenter of the activity near the Mariana Islands and reports back in a fascinating feature.

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CATEGORIZED UNDER: Environment

Largest Single-Celled Organism Found 6 Miles Beneath Sea

By Douglas Main | October 24, 2011 4:06 pm

Researchers have found new examples of the strange singled-celled creatures called xenophyophores more than six miles beneath the surface of the Pacific in the Mariana Trench. At more than four inches in length, they are perhaps the largest single-celled organism on Earth. These protists make a living by sifting through sediments and can accumulate high levels of toxic metals like uranium, lead, and mercury.

Read more at LiveScience.

Image: Lisa Levin & David Checkley, Scripps Institution of Oceanography

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Environment, Living World
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