These are just some of the animals that live in the deep ocean or in the midwater, the slice of ocean above the seafloor where light is scarce. This vast habitat is filled with billions of animals, many unlike anything you’ve ever seen before. Animals found in the midwater have evolved interesting features and adaptations that are key to their survival in the deep, dark habitat.
Explore these photos taken of organisms found off the coast of California by Dr. Karen Osborn, a curator and zoologist at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. The team used remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) or underwater robots to explore this part of the ocean.
Click through the gallery below to see 15 of Karen’s favorite images!