News

WHOI’s Journey to the Ocean’s Twilight Zone Begins

By Ken Kostel | July 17, 2018

Tests of a new towed vehicle Deep-See from the NOAA survey ship Henry B. Bigelow will begin to build a detailed picture of life below the sunlit surface of the ocean. 7/13/18—On August 11, scientists and engineers from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), NOAA Fisheries’ Northeast Fisheries Science Center (NEFSC), and the University of Connecticut…

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WHOI Plunges into Ocean ‘Twilight Zone’ with NASA, NSF to Explore Global Carbon Flow

By Ken Kostel | June 20, 2018

A large multidisciplinary team of scientists, equipped with advanced underwater robotics and an array of analytical instrumentation, will set sail for the northeastern Pacific Ocean this August. The team’s mission for NASA and the National Science Foundation (NSF) is to study the life and death of the small organisms that play a critical role in removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and in the ocean’s carbon cycle. The expedition will mark an important step in growing efforts to explore and understand the ocean’s twilight zone.

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We Should Be Exploring the Ocean’s Twilight Zone, Not Exploiting It

By Dina Pandya | June 12, 2018

James Cameron, explorer, filmmaker, and advisor to WHOI’s Ocean Twilight Zone initiative, looks at the ocean and sees hope in the “near-limitless opportunity for us to explore our planet more deeply than ever before.”

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From Oceanus Magazine: Mission to the Twilight Zone

By Katherine Joyce | April 18, 2018

The twilight zone is a part of the ocean 660 to 3,300 feet below the surface, where little sunlight can reach. It is deep and dark and cold, and the pressures there are enormous. Despite these challenging conditions, the twilight zone teems with life that helps support the ocean’s food web and is intertwined with Earth’s climate. Some countries are gearing up to exploit twilight zone fisheries, with unknown impacts for marine ecosystems and global climate. Scientists and engineers at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution are poised to explore and investigate this hidden frontier.

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WHOI Scientist Gives TED Talk

By Katherine Joyce | April 13, 2018
Heidi Sosik

WHOI biologist Heidi Sosik spoke at the TED2018 conference in Vancouver about the Ocean Twilight Zone, one of the inaugural group of big ideas funded by the Audacious Project. Watch video

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WHOI Among First Funding Recipients of The Audacious Project

By Dina Pandya | April 11, 2018
angler fish

What if we explored the ocean’s vast twilight zone, teeming with undiscovered life? WHOI was awarded $35 million—the largest philanthropic gift in the Institution’s history—to do just that.

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Satellites, lasers and undersea bots track world carbon stocks

By Dina Pandya | April 10, 2018
satellite

WHOI is developing a new robotic vehicle called a Mesobot to track mesopelagic animals and descending particles. The Mesobot could help scientists understand the twilight zone’s connection to the global carbon cycle and Earth’s climate.

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The mesopelagic: Cinderella of the oceans

By Dina Pandya | April 10, 2018
dragon fish

The Economist reporter Hal Hodson says global fishing powers are already gearing up to exploit the twilight zone’s abundant resources, with potential implications for global climate. Hodson describes WHOI’s plans to explore the mesopelagic by developing three new ocean robots: the Deep-See, the Mesobot, and the Snowclops.

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A journey to the ocean’s twilight zone: a conversation with marine biogeochemist Ken Buesseler

By Dina Pandya | April 10, 2018
Chauliodus-sloani

A torrent of particles rains down through the ocean’s dimly lit regions, providing food for organisms below and sequestering some heat-trapping carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. A WHOI biogeochemist investigates what makes it into the ocean’s twilight zone and what makes it out.

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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