The deep sea, or “abyss,” is a mysterious and extreme environment deeper than 200 meters that covers the majority of the Earth’s surface. Its harsh conditions mean that only a few organisms are well-adapted to living there, resulting in the discovery of strange creatures that seem alien alongside the more familiar ones like the giant squid and shark. Scientists have been making discoveries in the abyss despite the difficulty, such as finding a new jellyfish species called Deepstaria enigmatica and the largest single-celled organism, an xenophyophore, believed to be one of the oldest organisms on Earth.
The ocean is one of the most mysterious parts of the world. It covers over 70% of the earth’s surface, and yet we have only explored less than 10% of it. It’s no surprise, then, that the deep sea is an even more mysterious and fascinating place. It’s the largest ecosystem on the planet, and home to some of the strangest creatures on Earth, many of which we are only just discovering. In this article, we’ll explore some of the discoveries made in the abyss, and delve into the mysteries of the deep sea.
The Abyss: An Alien World
The deep sea, or abyss, is defined as the area of the ocean that is deeper than 200 meters. This is an area beyond the reach of sunlight, and as such, is an extremely harsh environment. The pressure at these depths can be over 100 times greater than at the surface, and the temperature can reach as low as -1.8°C. These conditions mean that very few organisms can survive in the abyss, and those that do are adapted to the extreme environment.
One of the most fascinating things about the deep sea is the variety of strange creatures that inhabit it. Some of these are so different from anything else on Earth that they seem alien. Take the anglerfish, for example. This fish has a fleshy lure on its head that glows in the dark. It uses this to attract prey, which it then swallows whole. The female of the species is also incredibly different from the male. The male is tiny in comparison to the female, and when he finds one he likes, he bites onto her and never lets go. Over time, the male’s mouth and digestive system fuse with the female’s, until he becomes little more than a pair of testes.
Other bizarre creatures found in the abyss include the giant squid, the vampire squid, and the goblin shark. These creatures have adaptations that allow them to survive in the extreme conditions of the deep sea. For example, the giant squid has the largest eyes of any animal on Earth, which it uses to spot prey in the dark. The vampire squid has arms that are covered in spines and can be retracted into a cloak-like structure for protection. And the goblin shark has a long, protruding snout that it uses to sense prey.
Discoveries in the Abyss
Despite the harsh conditions of the deep sea, scientists have been able to make some incredible discoveries in recent years. One of the most exciting of these was the discovery of a new species of jellyfish, called Deepstaria enigmatica. This jellyfish has an incredibly unusual shape, with a bell that looks almost like a plastic bag. It was discovered by a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) off the coast of California in 2003, and has since been found in various parts of the world.
Another exciting discovery was made in 2019, when scientists discovered a giant single-celled organism called an xenophyophore. This organism is the largest known single-celled organism, and can grow up to 10 centimeters in diameter. It was discovered in the Pacific Ocean at a depth of over 6,000 meters, and is believed to be one of the oldest organisms on Earth.
Q. How deep is the abyss?
A. The abyss is any area of the ocean deeper than 200 meters.
Q. What is the pressure like in the abyss?
A. The pressure at these depths can be over 100 times greater than at the surface.
Q. What is the temperature like in the abyss?
A. The temperature can reach as low as -1.8°C in the abyss.
Q. What adaptations do creatures in the abyss have?
A. Creatures in the abyss have adaptations that allow them to survive in the extreme conditions, such as the anglerfish’s glowing lure, the giant squid’s large eyes, and the vampire squid’s retractable arms.
Q. What discoveries have been made in the abyss?
A. Recent discoveries in the abyss include a new species of jellyfish called Deepstaria enigmatica and a giant single-celled organism called an xenophyophore.