The Water Column—the space between the ocean’s surface and floor—comprises between 95 to 99 percent of the total livable volume of our planet. It is a massive and still-mysterious habitat that is underexplored. It’s just so big.
This National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) video from oceanexplorergov YouTube channel, Exploring the Water Column, introduces these vast open waters, including the depths that light can’t reach.
The twilight zone or mesopelagic zone, mentioned in the video, “is defined by light, and begins at the depth where only 1% of incident light reaches and ends where there is no light; the depths of this zone are between approximately 200 to 1000 meters (~660 to 3300 feet) below the ocean surface.” Wikipedia describes the five water column sections or pelagic zones:
epipelagic, from the surface to 200 meters below the surface; mesopelagic, from 200 to 1000 meters below the surface; bathypelagic, from 1000 to 4000 meters below the surface; abyssopelagic, from 4000 meters below the surface to the level sea floor; hadopelagic, depressions and crevices below the level sea floor.
Explore more at oceanexplorer.noaa.gov.
Watch this next: How deep is the ocean? Plus: 1000m beneath the Antarctic ice, where no human has gone before.