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Exploring the ocean’s midnight zone with MBARI

The largest living space on Earth lies between our ocean’s sunlit upper layers and the deep seafloor. The midnight zone is home to our planet’s largest ecosystems and the life that thrives there likely outnumbers all other animals on the planet. And yet, we are still learning about this vast ecosystem with each research expedition.”

As Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) Senior Scientist Bruce Robison explains, “we have barely scratched the surface in terms of understanding what’s out there, how it’s put together, and how it works.”

…but we’re trying. In the video above, he talks about animals in the midnight zone, that midwater bathypelagic layer of the ocean where sunlight does not reach.

owlfish
How do animals live there? What special adaptations help them eat and escape being eaten? “Most of these animals don’t look or act like their shallow-water relatives, and have evolved an incredible array of strategies to not only survive in the midnight zone, but thrive there.”

whalefish
In 2022, the Monterey Bay Aquarium will launch an exhibit about these creatures and MBARI’s recent ability to raise and nurture the sea life that lives there so that visitors can see and learn more about them. “Into the Deep: Exploring our Undiscovered Ocean” will be the first large-scale exhibition of deep-sea life in the world.

Read more about it at The New York Times: Bringing the Ocean’s Midnight Zone Into the Light.

gulper eel
Watch more MBARI-related videos on TKSST, including:
• The strange and amazing barreleye fish
• The elusive Black Seadevil Anglerfish
The case of the green-eyed squid
• The allure of fluorescence in the ocean
• Collecting the deep sea animals of Monterey Submarine Canyon

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