News

Following the DNA trail in the Pacific Ocean

By Ken Kostel | August 14, 2019
Analyzing eDNA

The San Jose Mercury-News reports on a new method researchers are using to track marine life by analyzing genetic material animals leave behind in the water. READ MORE >>

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Open Wide

By Ken Kostel | August 10, 2019

The jaw of the loosejaw dragonfish (Photostomias goodyeari) is a marvel of the animal kingdom. It has no floor and is only attached by a hinge, a tendon, and a modified tongue bone. This series of images shows the incredible extent to which it can open it’s jaw—an indication of the size of the prey…

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A Tunnel to the Twilight Zone

By Ken Kostel | August 9, 2019

Last year, researchers at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) and the Applied Physics Lab at the University of Washington (UW) discovered that when white sharks are ready to feast, they ride large, swirling ocean currents known as eddies to fast-track their way to the ocean twilight zone—a layer of the ocean between 200 and 1000 meters…

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A Light in the Darkness

By Ken Kostel | August 8, 2019
LAPIS image

A  key feature of Deep-See is the Large-Area Plankton Imaging System, or LAPIS camera, mounted on the front of the vehicle. It was developed at WHOI and captures 24 megapixel, high-definition images of the many creatures large and small that live in the ocean twilight zone, especially those with gelatinous bodies. The camera uses powerful…

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Who goes there?

By Ken Kostel | August 7, 2019
Niskin bottles

  As the Ocean Twilight Zone expedition on the NOAA Ship Henry B. Bigelow off the US East Coast winds down, the scientists aboard are taking the measure of the immense amount of data that’s so far been collected over the past 13 days. In addition to acoustic data, net samples, and images from Deep-See,…

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First sea trials of a revolutionary new undersea robot

By Ken Kostel | August 5, 2019
Mesobot deployment

In late June researchers from MBARI joined engineers from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) to test a new breed of undersea robot designed to open up new avenues of research in the mesopelagic, also known as the ocean’s twilight zone. This vehicle, the Mesobot, originated at WHOI and was developed over the past two years…

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Trawling the Depths

By Ken Kostel | August 5, 2019
Identifying the catch

Mesopelagic trawl sampling is still going strong on the NOAA Ship Henry B. Bigelow with one more round tomorrow before they finish the cruise with more than two days of acoustic surveys. Probably the most celebrated animal they’ve caught so far was a paper nautilus or Argonaut (Argonauta argo) that featured in an earlier post.…

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Up Close with a Lancetfish

By Ken Kostel | July 31, 2019
Lancetfish

One of the highlights from the mid-water trawl last night on NOAA Ship Henry B. Bigelow was this lancetfish (Alepisaurus ferox). Lancetfish are one of the top predators in the twilight zone and can grow to more than 2 meters (6 feet) in length—though this one was only about 15 inches. They are also voracious…

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The Expedition Begins

By Ken Kostel | July 31, 2019
Paper nautilus

On the second day of their 15-day expedition to explore the ocean twilight zone aboard NOAA Ship Henry B. Bigelow, scientists from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and National Marine Fisheries deployed Deep-See in the Atlantic Ocean. That first deployment was in relatively shallow water to test systems for a deeper deployment the next day,…

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New York Times: The Creepy Anglerfish Comes to Light

By Ken Kostel | July 30, 2019

Increasingly, these ghoulish and improbable denizens of the abyss are being captured on video, revealing an array of surprising behaviors.

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In the News

2018-08-04
It’s ‘the last frontier on Earth that’s truly not well understood,’ and scientists are about to explore it
The Boston Globe

2018-06-19
Why Great White Sharks Hang Out in Warm Whirlpools
National Geographic News

2018-04-22
Into the Darkness
Cape Cod Times

2018-04-16
Scientists Get Major Gift to Study the Twilight Zone
WCAI NPR

2018-04-13
With $35M grant, WHOI scientists will dive to the edge of ocean's light
Cape Cod Times

2018-04-12
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution gets $35m to explore deep reaches
Boston Globe

2018-04-12
Deep-sea project wins prestigious funding at Vancouver TED conference
The Globe & Mail

2018-02-26
The ocean’s ‘twighlight zone’ faces fishing threat
News Deeply

2018-02-16
Study finds high levels of microplastics in mesopelagic fish
R&D

2017-08-21
The deep seas are alive with light
New York Times

2017-08-18
What happens in the sea during a solar eclipse?
Deep Sea News

2017-05-03
In disposable mucus houses, these zooplankton filter the oceans
New York Times

2017-01-16
The race to fish the larder living in the ‘twilight zone’
BBC

2016-08-15
Unraveling the mystery of the ocean’s twilight zone
Wired

2016-09-26
Mysterious ocean blobs aren’t so mysterious
The Atlantic

2016-03-08
Fishing the deep. Is it time to start fishing the deep sea? Some scientists are urging caution.
Hakai magazine

2015-06-29
Dark region of ocean may shed light on climate change and other issues
New York Times

2015-06-29
An ocean mystery in the trillions
New York Times

2014-02-09
Fish in the ocean cast new light on ocean ecosystems
The Conversation