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Ocean Twilight Zone

Measuring the great migration

A bioacoustic mooring will use sound to help estimate life migrating in the ocean’s twilight zone as part of a new long-term observation network in the Atlantic

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Illuminating the Abyss

Join four leading ocean explorers and advocates for a live conversation about pushing boundaries and seeking solutions to the Earth’s most pressing problems—deep in the ocean’s twilight zone.

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WHOI collaborates to bring video installation to United Nation Headquarters

Vertical Migration by artist group SUPERFLEX will be projected onto the facade of the United Nations’ 505-foot tower in New York, on 21-24 September 2021, coinciding with the 76th General Assembly and Climate Week NYC. The projection seeks to draw global attention to the critical role of the ocean in global climate, a primary focus of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution’s Ocean Twilight Zone Project.

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Sharks and the ocean’s twilight zone: Some female great white sharks can deep dive for hours

Boston Herald

Much of the shark focus around the Cape is on great whites roaming close to the shoreline as they prowl for seals, but researchers are finding out that several sharks are actually diving deep into the twilight zone out in the middle of the ocean. Scientists at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution on Cape Cod are researching the sharks’ deep diving behavior and how sharks’ bodies have evolved to handle these deeper conditions. They’re learning that deep diving is far more frequent and extensive across species than previously thought, said Simon Thorrold, a senior scientist in the biology department at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

Ocean Encounters: Weirdly Wonderful Creatures of the twilight zone

Dive with us into the ocean twilight zone—the weirdest place on Earth. This vast, dark, barely explored layer of the ocean is home to countless weirdly wonderful creatures whose uniqueness also gives them superpowers to survive in a world of darkness, extreme pressure, frigid cold, and superpowered predators. The twilight zone is a place of wonder, mystery, and abundance that reminds us our choices mean the difference between a future of loss and sustainability.

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Three ships, one ocean twilight zone

In May 2021, members of WHOI’s Ocean Twilight Zone project braved the rough seas of the Northeast Atlantic aboard the Spanish research vessel Sarmiento de Gamboa. Their mission: locate the spring phytoplankton bloom and measure how carbon moves through the mysterious mid-ocean “twilight zone.”

The Sarmiento joined two other research vessels funded by NASA’s EXPORTS program to intensively study the area. This remarkable and rare coordination of 150 scientists from several organizations, and crew on three different ships, was years in the making.

Watch as the WHOI research team, led by Ken Buesseler and Heidi Sosik, deploys innovative new imaging technologies and hauls up hundreds of fascinating specimens from the deep sea. Along the way, you’ll gain an endless appreciation for the vast, weird, and wonderful ocean twilight zone – without getting wet.

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Keep It Weird

Discover the weird and wonderful creatures of the Ocean Twilight Zone and how they keep our planet healthy. Take our quiz to find your weird at!

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The Earth-Shaping Animal Migration No One Ever Sees

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“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.

Ocean Twilight Zone Art

Learn how to draw and paint the marvelous creatures of the ocean twilight zone and pick up some fun facts about their anatomy and behavior along the way!

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