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Have you ever seen a creature so unusual? This fish (22 cm long) is called a sea toad and studying them requires luck and the opportunity to descend into the deep waters where they...
Travel to a world of perpetual night--the deep ocean hydrothermal vents near...
Zombie worms don’t crave brains: instead they seek bones. The 1 to 3 inch (2 to...
Artist Shih Chieh Huang spent a good part of 2007 exploring specimens of deep-...

LATEST CATCH

This lizardfish ( Bathysaurus ferox ) rests on the ocean bottom with its head slightly elevated—waiting to snatch prey with its large mouth and sharp teeth. It lives at depths of 600-3,500 meters (1,969-11,483 feet) and grows up...
With a scientific name that means "the vampire squid from hell," you'd...
Zombie worms ( Osedax roseus ) eat away at the bones of a dead whale that...

DIVE DEEPER

Deep below the ocean’s surface is a mysterious world that takes up 95% of Earth’s living space. It could hide 20 Washington...
Sample the surprising diversity of deep-sea corals. See some of the ways they differ in color, shape, and size. Explore more in the multimedia feature " Coral Gardens of the Deep Sea ."
The Deep Reef Observation Project (DROP) is a Smithsonian research program launched to explore marine life and monitor changes on deep reefs in the southern Caribbean. Found below SCUBA diving depths...
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)...
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...
This map shows where some of the most significant species of deep-sea corals are located. Learn more about the distribution and ecology of deep ocean corals in the article " Coral Gardens of the Deep...
Dr. Shirley Pomponi talks about thirty years of experience diving and searching for chemicals in deep-sea sponges that may prove vital to humans. Read more about her work , or see other lectures from...
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...
Deep-sea species like this dragonfish ( Bathophilus indicus ) live in cold, dark waters and may go weeks or months between meals. When food is found, the fish uses its impressive teeth—including some...
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...
A bright orange sea star ( Novodinia antillensis ) clings to a large white soft coral ( Paragorgia sp.). This photo was taken on the Manning Seamount at a depth of 1,350 meters (4,429 feet) by the...
Most scuba divers scour coral reefs looking for colorful fish, natural beauty, and maybe even the perfect underwater photo . Shirley Pomponi , a biologist at Florida Atlantic University's Harbor...
Zombie worms ( Osedax roseus ) eat away at the bones of a dead whale that has fallen to the seafloor in Sagami Bay, Japan. These bizarre worms rely on whale bones for energy and are what scientists...
Methane gas, trapped deep within the Earth's crust, can slowly leak from cracks in the seafloor known as methane seeps. While we would never consider methane as food, in the deep sea where there is...
This newly-discovered carnivorous sponge ( Chondrocladia lyra ) was found using robotic submersibles operated by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute 10,000 feet below the surface in dark...
Like a cake, the ocean has different layers—each with its own characteristics. (No icing, though.) The surface layer receives the most sunlight, allowing photosynthetic organisms like phytoplankton...
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...
Unlike the shallow tropical coral reef pictured on the top, the deep-sea Oculina reef at bottom does not require sunlight. Learn more in the article " Coral Gardens of the Deep Sea ."
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...
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