The Deep Sea

The ocean floor is a mysterious place—one that we’ve barely explored. Here’s a glimpse of some of the strange creatures that call the cold, dark waters of the deep sea home!
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Photo by Joshua Lambus.

These underwater portraits of creatures who inhabit the sea are filled with such character and life. Hawaii-based photographer Joshua Lambus documents the amazing detail of many aquatic species,.

Photo by Joshua Lambus.

Luminous creatures: Glowing deep sea creatures photographed by Joshua Lambus - Telegraph

from “The Deep: Extraordinary Creatures of the Abyss” by Claire Nouvian

The Smooch Fish, a recently discovered creature in the deepest part of the deepest part of the ocean (deep squared!) and can now be seen in a fantastic book called The Deep—The Extraordinary Creatures of the Abyss by Claire Nouvian

Like a multi-stage rocket, this bizarre microscopic creature, Marrus orthocanna is made up of multiple repeated units, including tentacles and multiple stomachs. Never heard of a physonect siphonophore? That's what this is.

Like a multi-stage rocket, this bizarre microscopic creature, Marrus orthocanna is made up of multiple repeated units, including tentacles and multiple stomachs. Never heard of a physonect siphonophore?

The delicate beauty of a radiolarian skeleton is captured in this scanning electron microscope (SEM) image. Radiolarians are microscopic, single-celled protozoa that drift in the waters of the world's oceans. Photo: Kurt Buck  © 2001 MBARI

The delicate beauty of a radiolarian skeleton is captured in this scanning electron microscope (SEM) image. Radiolarians are microscopic, single-celled protozoa that drift in the waters of the world's oceans.

This photograph shows a deep-sea octopus in the genus Stauroteuthis that has turned itself inside out, perhaps as a defensive maneuver. What you are seeing is the underside of six of the octopus' eight tentacles, as well as the underside of the fleshy web that stretches between the tentacles. In between the octopus' suckers, you can see small spines called "cirrae," which are believed to help the octopus grab and hold prey. Although many octopus live on the seafloor, Stauroteuthis usually…

This photograph shows a deep-sea octopus in the genus Stauroteuthis that has turned itself inside out, perhaps as a defensive maneuver. What you are seeing is the underside of six of the octopus' eight tentacles, as well as the underside of the fleshy web that stretches between the tentacles. In between the octopus' suckers, you can see small spines called "cirrae," which are believed to help the octopus grab and hold prey. Although many octopus live on the seafloor, Stauroteuthis usually…

Although it looks like something out of a Dr. Seuss book, this is a deep-sea sponge in the genus Chondrocladia. A little over 30 centimeters (1 foot) tall, this sponge was photographed by MBARI's ROV Tiburon about 2,555 meters (8,400 feet) below the ocean surface, in the Gulf of California.

The aptly named Ping-pong tree sponge (Chondrocladia lampadiglobus) is a carnivorous sponge. Those ping-pong ball looking things are covered in tiny spicules which the sponge uses to catch tiny crustaceans.

This bright orange ctenophore in the genus Aulacoctena was observed at a depth of over 3,300 meters.

This bright orange ctenophore in the genus Aulacoctena was observed at a depth of over meters.

Liponema brevicornis is a species of sea anemone commonly known as the pom-pom anemone. These large, round anemones roll around the seafloor like tumbleweeds. © 2012 MBARI

for a tulle puff? two tone: mauve and white? Liponema brevicornis is a species of sea anemone commonly known as the pom-pom anemone. These large, round anemones roll around the seafloor like tumbleweeds.

MBARI researchers photographed this scyphomedusa or crown jelly offshore of Monterey Bay at about 965 meters (almost 3,200 feet) below the sea surface.

MBARI researchers photographed this scyphomedusa or crown jelly offshore of Monterey Bay at about 965 meters (almost feet) below the sea surface.

This beautiful jelly in the family Colobonema is a fast-moving deep-sea predator, but it also has several strategies to avoid being preyed upon. It's transparent body blends in with the surrounding seawater. But if it is attacked, the jelly can shed one or more of its tentacles, distracting its attacker. The discarded tentacles apparently grow back over time.

(Source) Photo from KQED-QUEST short film, “Amazing Jellies” selected for the San Francisco Ocean Film Festival

This photograph looks like the cover of a science fiction novel, but is a real photo of the deep seafloor taken by MBARI's remotely operated vehicle Tiburon.

Hydrorthermal vents, known as the cradle of life need to be protected from deep sea mining! This photograph looks like the cover of a science fiction novel, but is a real photo of the deep seafloor taken by MBARI's remotely operated vehicle Tiburon.

Among the stranger things that MBARI scientists see crawling around the deep seafloor are giant "sea spiders" or pycnogonids. They are very distant relatives of land spiders, scorpions, and horseshoe crabs. Shallow-water pycnogonids are typically a centimeter (1/3 inch) or less in size. However, several deep-sea species, such as this one, grow much larger.

Among the stranger things that MBARI scientists see crawling around the deep seafloor are giant "sea spiders" or pycnogonids. They are very distant relatives of land spiders, scorpions, and horseshoe crabs. Shallow-water pycnogonids are typically a centimeter (1/3 inch) or less in size. However, several deep-sea species, such as this one, grow much larger.

When most people think of robots, they think of mobile machines that look vaguely like people. This photograph shows a real 21st century robot that can perform DNA analyses 4,000 meters below the ocean surface. This complex machine is called the deep Environmental Sample Processor (D-ESP).

When most people think of robots, they think of mobile machines that look vaguely like people. This photograph shows a real 21st century robot that can perform DNA analyses 4,000 meters below the ocean surface. This complex machine is called the deep Environmental Sample Processor (D-ESP).

Many deep-sea animals have gelatinous bodies that are well adapted to the weightlessness of the deep ocean. However, if caught in an oceanographer's net, these fragile animals are often destroyed. To collect such jellies alive and intact, MBARI researchers use these clear plastic cylinders known as "detritus samplers." These cylinders are attached to an arm that swings out from the body of a remotely operated vehicle (ROV). To capture a jelly, the ROV pilot must maneuver the entire ROV…

Many deep-sea animals have gelatinous bodies that are well adapted to the weightlessness of the deep ocean. However, if caught in an oceanographer's net, these fragile animals are often destroyed. To collect such jellies alive and intact, MBARI researchers use these clear plastic cylinders known as "detritus samplers." These cylinders are attached to an arm that swings out from the body of a remotely operated vehicle (ROV). To capture a jelly, the ROV pilot must maneuver the entire ROV…

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