Ocean Twilight Zone


Mesobot: Following life in the Twilight Zone

Mesobot is a brand new underwater vehicle designed to reveal what lives in the ocean’s twilight zone. Mesobot can follow animals as they move through the darkness and as they migrate from the depths to the surface and back. The twilight zone is vast and remote, but is threatened by unregulated fishing and climate change. We need Mesobot’s insights to understand and protect the twilight zone before humans change it forever.

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The UN should protect the ocean’s twilight zone

The Hill

Op-ed piece written by Mark Abbott, president and director of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, and Chris Scholin, president and chief executive officer of the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute.

Monterey Bay: Following the DNA trail in the Pacific Ocean

The Mercury News

As ocean acidification and climate change become the new reality, scientists wonder what will happen to the distribution and well-being of plants and animals. “Monitoring communities and ecosystems is going to be much easier done by DNA methods,” says Elizabeth Andruszkiewicz Allan, an environmental engineer at Woods Hole Oceanographic. “You take one water sample and look for everything from microbes to whales.”

Pelagic octopus

Argonauts like this pelagic octopus, found in the ocean twilight zone, are rarely found in the wild. Only the females…

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Film Director James Cameron on the Ocean Twilight Zone

USA Today

Today, the U.S. is a powerhouse of ocean science research and marine engineering, led by organizations such as Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, and the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, among others. These are the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Ames Research Center, and Goddard Space Flight Center of ocean exploration.

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Potato chips of the sea

Sometimes referred to as the potato chips of the sea, two pteropods (Diacria trispinosa) move through the Ocean Twilight Zone…

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Fish with Flashlights

Down in the dark and shadowy ocean twilight zone, countless species—bristlemouths, lanternfishes, jellies, and others—rely on bioluminescence for a variety of important functions, including finding their next meal, outsmarting predators, and looking for mates.

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Mesobot, Follow that Jellyfish!

Mesobot, Follow that Jellyfish!

WHO scientists and engineers are developing an innovative autonomous deep-sea vehicle with hovering and manuevering capabilities that will allow it to follow animals without disturbing their environment and behavior.

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Chasing Ocean ‘Snowflakes’

Chasing Ocean ‘Snowflakes’

Scientists envision putting a flotilla of devices in the ocean to act as “eyes” that can track the “marine snow” that drifts down into the ocean.

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Round Up the Unusual Suspects

Round Up the Unusual Suspects

A variety of genetic techniques are advancing ocean scientists’ ability to identify which organisms live where in the vast ocean twilight zone and to find previously unknown species.

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Ocean Twilight Zone

What is the ocean twilight zone? The ocean twilight zone is a layer of water that stretches around the globe.…

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Mission to the Ocean Twilight Zone

Mission to the Ocean Twilight Zone

The twilight zone is a part of the ocean 660 to 3,300 feet below the surface, where little sunlight can reach. It is deep and dark and cold, and the pressures there are enormous. Despite these challenging conditions, the twilight zone teems with life that helps support the ocean’s food web and is intertwined with Earth’s climate. Some countries are gearing up to exploit twilight zone fisheries, with unknown impacts for marine ecosystems and global climate. Scientists and engineers at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution are poised to explore and investigate this hidden frontier.

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WHOI Among First Funding Recipients of The Audacious Project

WHOI Among First Funding Recipients of The Audacious Project

What if we explored the ocean’s vast twilight zone, teeming with undiscovered life? Today, the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) was awarded $35 million – ”the largest philanthropic gift in the Institution’s history – ”to do just that. The award comes from The Audacious Project, a bold new philanthropic collaboration housed at TED to fund critical ideas that have potential to create massive, global change.

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