The oceans cover more than 70 percent of the earth’s surface, but their depths remain largely unknown. Explore ten deep ocean secrets that have recently come to light.
A surge of undersea volcanic activity about 93 million years ago sapped the oceans of oxygen, triggering a mass extinction of marine life, a new study finds.
The catastrophic event buried a thick mat of organic matter—from large clams to single-celled algae—on the seafloor, which today is a major source of oil.
Looks alone suggest that deep-sea vents called black smokers emit a low rumble as they spew scalding, metal-rich fluids from the bowels of the Earth.
And in fact they do, according to the first-ever recordings of the phenomena.
The thousands of oil and gas platforms in the Gulf of Mexico may soon become a source for blockbuster drugs, researchers say.
“They are all very, very rich in organisms” that could provide ingredients for powerful pharmaceuticals, said Lawrence Rouse, the director of the Coastal Marine Institute at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge.
In the cold and dark depths of the seas, some fish attract their prey with bioluminescent lures. Others have huge mouths that allow them to chomp enough food in a single bite to sustain them for weeks.
Scientists are eager to learn more about these creatures, but whenever they try to bring them up to the surface and transport them to a laboratory, they die.
The deep ocean floor is a dark, cold, remote, and seemingly lifeless place that until recently lay largely below the radar of science and exploration. But with advances in technology, scientists are accessing the deep and finding life everywhere they look.
“Typically the deep sea is very sparsely populated and at first glance it may appear as a vast, desolated plain of mud,” said Jeffrey Drazen, a marine biologist with the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute in Moss Landing, California.
Humans yearning to chart undiscovered realms of planet Earth need only look below the surface of the ocean.
“About 90 percent of the oceans remain unexplored, and most of this is the deep sea,” said Jeffrey Drazen, a marine biologist with the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute in Moss Landing, California.