SeaHarmony welcomes all ocean scientists, ocean educators, resource managers, artists, and ocean related organizations and community groups.
So little is still understood about our deep oceans. One study recently discovered that the deep ocean had 898 species in an area about half the size of a tennis court. Over half of these species had never been identified before by scientists, and that’s not even including all the microscopic organisms that can be found.
Bioluminescence is light produced by an organism from chemical reactions in its own body. Fireflies are common land examples, but the deep ocean is full of bioluminescent plankton, jellyfish, shrimp, squid, and fish. You may see them off the bow of your boat at night or even sometimes along the beach shoreline in the waves.
The ocean plays a huge role in controlling Earth’s climate. Large amounts of energy from the sun are absorbed by the ocean, and that heat gets redistributed around the world by large-scale ocean currents. Changes in these currents are predicted to occur as the earth warms, resulting in changes to both small scale and large scale weather and climate.
The air above the ocean is intricately connected to the ocean floor miles below. Carbon dioxide dissolves into the surface of the ocean from the atmosphere and phytoplankton use the carbon dioxide for photosynthesis. Other organisms at the surface eat the phytoplankton and when they die they sink down towards the sea floor. Creatures living in the deep sea depend on this falling matter for food.
Have you heard of coral bleaching? That is what happens when corals lose their green or brown colored algae living inside of them due to environmental stress such as warmer temperatures. If conditions return to normal fairly quickly, the algae will come back; but if conditions change for too long then the coral will be permanently bleached and won’t be able to survive.
Photo: E/V Nautilus Recently, the Exploration Vessel Nautilus, operated by the Ocean Explorer Trust, discovered a community of organisms consuming a baleen whale carcass on the Davidson Seamount in the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary at a depth of 3,240 m. Unlike many other discoveries of whale falls in the ocean, crew on the Nautilus found this relatively recent fall in a mid-stage of ecological succession, providing an exciting look into life in the deep sea. Whale falls are importance influxes of nutrients and energy to the deep sea. This pulse in food availability becomes... (more)