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Imagine: You’re in a small submersible, and you gently settle on the soft muddy bottom at a depth of 12,000 feet. It’s absolutely dark. What will you see when the exterior lights are turned...
Scientists describe the amazing bioluminescent creatures they encounter as they...
Imagine you’re an alien seeing Planet Earth for the first time. What do you see...
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Sample the surprising diversity of deep-sea corals. See some of the ways they...

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Census of Marine Life researchers discovered this unusual transparent sea cucumber ( Enypniastes sp.) in the Gulf of Mexico at 2,750 meters depth. It creeps forward on its tentacles pretty slowly, at around 2 centimeters per...
This jelly’s red color provides camouflage in the deep ocean. Red light...
Zombie worms ( Osedax roseus ) eat away at the bones of a dead whale that...

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It may be the last place you’d expect to find corals—up to 6,000 m (20,000 ft) below the ocean’s surface, where the water is...
Sunset? Time to glow! A biological clock triggers bioluminescence in the dinoflagellate Pyrocystis fusiformis . At dusk, cells produce the chemicals responsible for its light. Hear from marine...
Did you know that 80 percent of the volcanic eruptions on Earth take place underwater? These underwater eruptions occur regularly, forming new landmasses and providing a living environment for deep-...
Deep sea animals have to live in a very cold, dark, and high-pressure environment where they can't see a thing! To survive there, they've evolved some very strange adapations. Some make their own...
Flower-like zoanthids, relatives of coral, carpet a hydrothermal vent. This species of zoanthid is the first ever discovered at a hydrothermal vent. See more pictures of incredible deep sea diversity...
The Hawaii Undersea Research Laboratory’s Pisces V submersible is lowered for a dive to study deep-sea corals. Learn more about research into deep-sea corals in the multimedia feature " Coral Gardens...
A sea star , Hymenaster pellucidus , brought up from a benthic ROV dive. View the “Under Arctic Ice” photo essay to learn more.
GEOMAR scientist Armin Form works at his lab during a long-term experiment on the effects of lower pH, higher temperatures and "food stress" on the cold-water coral Lophelia pertusa . In a previous...
Now that the Census of Marine Life is over, we’re checking in with some of the researchers to hear about their favorite expedition, what they learned, and how the Census and its findings continue to...
Ocean scientists recently discovered this new species of black coral off the coast of southern California. It was named the “Christmas tree” coral, Antipathes dendrochristos , in 2005 because of its...
This beautiful jewel squid ( Histioteuthis bonnellii ) can be found swimming above the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, at depths of 500-2,000 meters (1,640-6,562 feet). The “jewels” covering the body are...
The robotic arm of the Jason, a Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV), collects several stalks of black coral from the seafloor. Read more about how underwater vehicles help ocean scientists study deep-sea...
The Census of Marine Life - a ten-year effort by scientists from around the world to answer the age-old question, “What lives in the sea?” It was an international effort to asses the diversity,...
Discovered in 2004 and named in 2009, this Gersemia juliepackardae coral has been spotted and collected at several seamounts in the northeast Pacific Ocean at depths of 500-2,000 m (1,640-6,562 ft)...
What happens to deep-sea coral samples after they are collected? In this image gallery, see some of the ways ocean scientists sort, measure, photograph, and study them. Learn more in the multimedia...
A huge colony of brittlestars (likely Ophiacantha rosea ) covers the peak of a seamount in the deep ocean. What’s the attraction? Food! Their arms reach out for tiny food particles carried by the...
Black corals, like this one growing on the Manning Seamount off the New England coast, often resemble bushes or trees. Contrary to its name, the living tissue of black coral can be one of several...
These deep-sea corals at the Madison-Swanson Marine Reserve in the Gulf of Mexico are protected, along with the marine life they harbor. Learn more about deep-sea corals and marine protected areas in...
Thousands of seamounts—most of them undersea volcanoes—tower above the muddy seafloor. They provide something hard to come by in the deep ocean : a solid surface to cling to. This photo gallery shows...
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