Posts by Kathryn Baltes

Mesobot Dives into the Twilight Zone for the First Time

Mesobot using red light in a test tank

The newly developed deep sea robot, Mesobot, dove down to 300m for the first time last week during a successful test and evaluation cruise off Monterey Bay. Mesobot is designed to let scientists observe the twilight zone by autonomously tracking individual animals for hours or even days without disturbing the environment or disrupting their behavior.

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Discovering the Ocean Twilight Zone with Joel Llopiz

Photo of bristlemouth

Most life forms in the twilight zone are tiny—a few inches or less—but even the smallest twilight zone inhabitants are powerful through sheer number. Joel Llopiz, Associate Scientist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, is part of the Ocean Twilight Zone (OTZ) project. The project is embarking on a bold new journey to explore one…

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Entering the Ocean Twilight Zone with Heidi Sosik

Heidi Sosik and Paul Caiger in a manned submersible.

It is hard to describe what it’s like to physically travel down to the twilight zone. In addition to extraordinary bioluminescence, Heidi Sosik, senior scientist at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and Ocean Twilight Zone (OTZ) project lead, was able to observe beautiful jellies and small fishes like bristlemouths, hatchetfish, and lanternfish, all in their natural…

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Fish with Flashlights

Sloan viper fish

Down in the dark and shadowy mesopelagic layer of the ocean, countless species—bristlemouths, lanternfishes, jellies, and others—have a natural ability to generate their own light through chemical reactions. Most twilight zone animals produce blue light—the color that penetrates the farthest through seawater—but some also produce flashes of red, yellow, and green. Collectively, the lights form…

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Bringing Light into Darkness

Floating jelly

Oceanographers studying creatures in the ocean twilight zone are facing an optical dilemma. They need to observe the fish in order to study them, but at ocean depths of 200 meters and beyond, there’s very little natural light trickling down from the surface. This means that submersibles developed to image and track these animals need to be…

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A New Paradigm for Funding Ocean Science

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution is embarking on a journey to explore and understand one of our planet’s last hidden frontiers—the ocean twilight zone (OTZ), a shadowy region far below the ocean’s sunlit surface. The OTZ project is WHOI’s first major research initiative supported by a new, disruptive funding model: The Audacious Project.

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The Twilight Zone Begins to Materialize at the UN High Seas Negotiations

Biodiversity Beyond National Jurisdiction second session at the United Nations General Assembly in New York. From left to right; Kristina Gjerde, Porter Hoagland, Aria Ritz Finkelstein, Harriet Harden-Davies, Jane Collins, Torsten Thiele, Muriel Rabone By Aria Ritz Finkelstein Senior Research Specialist at the WHOI Marine Policy Center, Dr. Porter Hoagland, and his student Aria Ritz Finkelstein…

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