A new observation network under development by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) will offer round-the-clock data about the ocean twilight zone – a dimly lit region roughly 200–1000 meters (650–3200 feet) below the surface, containing the largest amount of fish biomass on Earth.Read More
Traditional methods, which include trawling and baited cameras, can only offer snapshots of the complex deep-ocean world, says Elizabeth Allan, a postdoctoral investigator at WHOI who works on the Institute’s ocean twilight zone project.
“All the vehicles on the road in the United States produce around 1.5 PgC per year,” says Kevin Archibald, a biological oceanographer at WHOI and lead author of that study. DVM could be understood as offsetting about two-thirds of all U.S. automobile emissions.
This Earth Day, join us for the YouTube premiere of A Window into the Twilight Zone, (26 minutes), a film…Read More
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution oceanographer Andone Lavery and her team of scientists and engineers have created the ultimate tool for exploring the largest, least known habitat on Earth—the Twilight Zone, a layer of the ocean beyond all but the dimmest sunlight. What they find might change our understanding of deep-ocean life.Read More
Scientists have long known that the ocean plays an essential role in capturing carbon from the atmosphere, but a study from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) shows that the efficiency of the ocean’s “biological carbon pump” has been drastically underestimated, with implications for future climate assessments. Marine chemist Ken Buesseler and his co-authors call on their fellow oceanographers to adopt a new metric for estimating the depth of the ocean’s sunlit layer, thus its ability to take up carbon.Read More
This hyperiid amphipod is a member of the crustacean family that typically act as parasites to gelatinous neighbors, such as salps. This particular suborder lives exclusively in the marine environment. Paul Caiger, who snapped the picture, saw this particular shrimp-like species during an ocean twilight zone research cruise on R/V Neil Armstrong (2020).Read More
You’re on deck as the stealthy underwater robot Mesobot makes another trip into the ocean twilight zone to test equipment that will help scientists track bits of “environmental DNA” floating in the water.Read More
The mysteries of the ocean twilight zone are waiting to be explored. What was once thought to be desert-like isn’t a desert at all. Where the deep sea creatures lurk there are incredible biomass and biodiversity. The ocean twilight zone is a huge habitat that is very difficult to explore. Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution is poised to change this because we have the engineers that can help us overcome these challenges. Making new discoveries in ocean exploration is more important now than ever.Read More
A new report from researchers at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) reveals for the first time the unseen—and somewhat surprising—benefits that people receive from the ocean’s twilight zone. Also known as the “mesopelagic,” this is the ocean layer just beyond the sunlit surface.Read More
How does the ocean twilight zone benefit life on Earth? The ocean twilight zone helps regulates our climate. Storing two to six billion tons of carbon annually. That’s up to six times the amount of carbon emitted from autos worldwide. Preventing an increase in temperature between 6-11°F. The ocean twilight zone supports a healthy ocean ecosystem. Containing 10 times more fish than the rest of the ocean. Providing food for many other animals in the ocean. The ocean twilight zone could also play an important role in feeding a growing population. We are working to better understand this realm in order to inform sustainable management decisions.Read More
Former WHOI Joint Program graduate student and current University of Washington postdoc Camrin Braun and his team on the charter fishing vessel Machaca managed to tag two porbeagles, a relative of the goblin shark, about 30 miles east of Chatham, Mass. One was a female nearly seven feet long and weighing 270 pounds. A male came alongside the boat while the team was tagging her and, when they were finished, they quickly hooked the curious male, which measured 6.5 feet and weighed 230 pounds.
Both fish are now equipped with fin-mounted SPOT satellite tags, which will report their location each time they surface and can last up to five years. For the Ocean Twilight Zone team, the big predators are an important indicator of where mesopelagic animals are collecting deep below the surface. In short, the predator will go where the prey is.Read More
Paul Caiger is a fish biologist, marine photographer and postdoctoral investigator at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI). From the ghoulish grimace of the viperfish, to the bejeweled beauty of the strawberry squid, Caiger’s marine portraits have helped shine a light in this dark but critical ocean zone.Read More
This bejeweled beauty is a strawberry squid (Histioteuthis reversa), sampled from the ocean twilight zone, a mysterious stratum of the ocean between the sunlit surface layer and extending down to about 1,000 meters (3,300 feet) deep.Read More
When CO₂ enters the ocean, where does this heat-trapping gas go? WHOI geochemist investigates how much carbon from the surface ocean is dispatched to the ocean twilight zone–the midlayer of the ocean–and on to the deep ocean.Read More
Members of WHOI’s Ocean Twilight Zone team, particularly the lab led by marine biologist Annette Govindarajan, are pioneering the use of environmental DNA (eDNA) sampling and analysis to provide a more finely tuned picture of what lives deep beneath the surface of the ocean.Read More
Elizabeth Allen, WHOI Sponsored by: AOP&E DepartmentRead More
Associate Scientist Joel Llopiz describes the vast, virtually unexplored ecosystem lurking beneath the surface of the ocean known as the twilight zone. It is deep enough that it hasn’t really been affected by humans yet. But commercial fishing companies are eyeing it now, so scientists who study the Twilight Zone are urging the UN to establish some rules for it soon. (segment begins at 23:08)
“The most striking thing is just how far down it is and how the light dissolves away,” says Joel Llopiz, a biologist with Woods Hole Oceanographic.