News

A New Paradigm for Funding Ocean Science

By Kathryn Baltes | April 12, 2019

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

By Kathryn Baltes | April 9, 2019

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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An opportunity to explore a new place

By Katherine Joyce | March 28, 2019
Heidi Sosik enters the ocean in manned submersible

Highlights from the latest Ocean Twilight Zone Project cruise to the Bahamas Ocean Twlight Zone Project Lead Scientist, Heidi Sosik, decends for her first time in a Triton manned submersible to experience the twilight zone in person. “It was so incredible to see the ocean twilight zone up close and personal.” – Dr. Heidi Sosik…

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Mesobot, Follow that Jellyfish! New robot will track animals in the ocean twilight zone

By Kathryn Baltes | March 13, 2019
Illustration of Mesobot robot, an oblong yellow shape

The idea for the Mesobot sprang from a somewhat tongue-in-cheek request. Dana Yoerger, a scientist and engineer at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, was having a chat with his WHOI colleague Larry Madin—a marine biologist. Madin spent much of his career scuba diving to get close to his research subjects: gelatinous animals such as jellyfish and salps.

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Chasing Ocean ‘Snowflakes’: New devices measure particles with key role in climate change

By Kathryn Baltes | March 13, 2019
Illustration of MINION instrument in the water column

Below the ocean’s surface, sunlight quickly grows dim. But if you could shine a flashlight through the watery darkness, you might find yourself in an unexpected blizzard: a tempest of tiny underwater particles known as marine snow.

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A MINION’s-eye View of Marine Snow

By Kathryn Baltes | March 7, 2019
WHOI Minion float

A MINION’s-eye View of Marine Snow from Woods Hole Oceanographic Inst. on Vimeo.

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Round Up the Unusual Suspects: DNA forensics identifies unknown deep-sea organisms

By Kathryn Baltes | February 27, 2019
Annette Govindarajan pipettes twilight zone samples

Annette Govindarajan is a kind of marine detective. She tracks down animals living in different parts of the ocean. For her, the largely unexplored ocean twilight zone—the vast, dimly lit region 650 to 3,280 feet (200 to 1,000 meters) below the surface—still harbors many species yet to be discovered and identified.

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The Deep-See Peers into the Depths: A new vehicle illuminates life hidden in the ocean twilight zone

By Kathryn Baltes | February 26, 2019
WHOI mechanical engineer Kaitlyn Tradd sits on the new towed vehicle Deep-See

In the ocean’s shadowy depths lies one of the Earth’s last frontiers: the ocean twilight zone. It’s a vast swath of water extending throughout the world’s oceans from 650 to 3,280 feet (200 to 1,000 meters) below the surface, and it abounds with life: small but fierce-looking fish, giant glowing jellies, and microscopic animals that feed marine life higher up the ocean’s food web.

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Gothamist: Meet The Freaky ‘Twilight Zone’ Sea Creatures Eating Our Carbon Emissions

By Kathryn Baltes | February 12, 2019

On February 8th, Gothamis published an article about the how the ocean’s twilight zone impacts the carbon cycle with featured photos by WHOI post-doc Paul Caiger.

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The New York Times: Visitors from the Ocean’s Twilight Zone

By Ken Kostel | November 27, 2018
New York Times

On Thanksgiving Day, the New York Times published an online article about the ocean’s twilight zone that featured photos by WHOI post-doc Paul Caiger of just some of the amazing organisms that call the midwater home.

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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