Jellies of the Twilight Zone

By Ken Kostel | November 20, 2019

Jellyfish have lived on earth more than 600 million years, and boast a diverse evolutionary history. Most jellyfish species live in what is known as the ocean’s “Twilight Zone.” Little is known about this ocean region since it is vastly underexplored, but WHOI is on a mission to change that. With our new AUV Mesobot,…

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WHOI and 4Ocean Search the Twilight Zone

By Ken Kostel | November 12, 2019

Jellyfish play a vital role in a healthy ocean. But we need more insight into exactly what that role is–and how jellyfish fit into the changes taking place in the ocean every day. Learn more about Jellies of the Twilight Zone. That’s why we partnered with 4Ocean to release this Jellyfish Bracelet. The purchase of each bracelet funds…

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Tagging Along into the Twilight Zone

By abrickley | November 8, 2019
porbeagle shark fin with SPOT tag

Before the rest of the Ocean Twilight Zone team heads out next week on the Neil Armstrong, there was tagging to be done of other potential food chain investigators— the kind that are blue-grey (not yellow), that swim autonomously (no batteries or propellers), with sharp teeth and a good sense for where the food may…

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Following the Elusive Swordfish

By Ken Kostel | November 7, 2019

Swordfish may be among the most universally recognized apex predators in the open ocean, but given that they spend half of their lives in deeper waters and aren’t easily observed and knowing where and when they travel has been a long-standing mystery. That is, until recently, when researchers from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) and…

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WHOI returns to the United Nations

By Aria Ritz Finkelstein | September 3, 2019

by Aria Ritz Finkelstein, WHOI Marine Policy Center Guest Student This week, Greta Thunberg has captivated the world by sailing from the UK to New York City for next week’s UN Climate Action Summit. Her goal has been to raise awareness of climate change and the environmental costs of international travel, but her voyage has…

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Summer of the Ocean Twilight Zone

By Sally Dowd | August 26, 2019

Growing up near the coast of North Carolina, I gained immense respect for the marine animals I was able to observe—the ones residing in surface waters. Over time, this interest led me to gain experience with sharks and coral reef ecology. After focusing on marine biology and ecology research, this summer was the first time…

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Mesobot: Following Life in the Twilight Zone

By Ken Kostel | August 21, 2019

Mesobot is a brand new underwater vehicle designed to reveal what lives in the ocean’s twilight zone. Mesobot can follow animals as they move through the darkness and as they migrate from the depths to the surface and back. The twilight zone is vast and remote, but is threatened by unregulated fishing and climate change.…

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The Lawless High Seas May Soon Gain Protections Under a Groundbreaking Ocean Treaty

By Ken Kostel | August 20, 2019

“Historically, the high seas have been open to a wide array of uses,” said Porter Hoagland, a senior research specialist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. “There’s a notion of the freedom of the high seas, and with modern technology—including the ability to get out and use the ocean in those areas, as well as…

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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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In the News

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

Why Great White Sharks Hang Out in Warm Whirlpools
National Geographic News

Into the Darkness
Cape Cod Times

Scientists Get Major Gift to Study the Twilight Zone

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

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution gets $35m to explore deep reaches
Boston Globe

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

The ocean’s ‘twighlight zone’ faces fishing threat
News Deeply

Study finds high levels of microplastics in mesopelagic fish

The deep seas are alive with light
New York Times

What happens in the sea during a solar eclipse?
Deep Sea News

In disposable mucus houses, these zooplankton filter the oceans
New York Times

The race to fish the larder living in the ‘twilight zone’

Unraveling the mystery of the ocean’s twilight zone

Mysterious ocean blobs aren’t so mysterious
The Atlantic

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

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

An ocean mystery in the trillions
New York Times

Fish in the ocean cast new light on ocean ecosystems
The Conversation