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cenoxo (2)

If we're not in pain, we're not alive

You invest so much in it, don't you? It's what elevates you above the beasts of the field, it's what makes you special. Homo sapiens, you call yourself. Wise Man. Do you even know what it is, this consciousness you cite in your own exaltation? Do you even know what it's for?
Dr. Peter Watts is no stranger to MetaFilter. But look past his sardonic nuptials, heartbreaking eulogies, and agonizing run-ins with fascists (and fasciitis) and you'll find one of the most brilliant, compelling, and disquieting science fiction authors at work today. A marine biologist skilled at deep background research, his acclaimed 2006 novel Blindsight [full text] -- a cerebral "first contact" tale led by a diverse crew of bleeding-edge post-humans -- is diamond-hard and deeply horrifying, wringing profound existential dread from such abstruse concepts as the Chinese Room, the Philosophical Zombie, Chernoff faces, and the myriad quirks and blind spots that haunt the human mind. But Blindsight's last, shattering insight is not the end of the story -- along with crew/ship/"Firefall" notes, a blackly funny in-universe lecture on resurrecting sociopathic vampirism (PDF - prev.), and a rigorously-cited (and spoiler-laden) reference section, tomorrow will see the release of Dumbspeech State of Grace Echopraxia [website], the long-delayed "sidequel" depicting parallel events on Earth. Want more? Look inside for a guide to the rest of Watts' award-winning (and provocative) body of work. [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi on Aug 25, 2014 - 83 comments

Mostly a watery anti-war movie. (mostly)

"Twenty-five years after its release, The Abyss remains an oddity in director James Cameron's filmography. But the fact that it's an oddity seems like an oddity. The underwater sci-fi epic, about a team of commercial drillers who stumble upon a deep-sea alien civilization, wasn't a flop by any means. It made more money than The Terminator and came very close to matching Aliens at the box office. It holds a higher critical rating than Avatar and Titanic (according to the almighty Rotten Tomatoes, at least). And yet it has utterly failed to reach the same levels of cultural saturation as Cameron’s other works."
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Aug 11, 2014 - 119 comments

Deep Sixed

In the deep sea, low oxygen levels, scarce sunlight, and freezing water limit the rate at which items decompose: Something that might survive a few years on land could exist for decades underwater. - ROVs photograph trash on the ocean floor.
posted by Artw on Jun 8, 2013 - 37 comments

Submerged Mass: Under the water, there is granite undersea

Scientists have discovered a 10-metre-high rock of granite deep in the Atlantic, more than 8,000 feet beneath the sea in a region known as the Rio Grande Elevation (Google auto-translation; original Portuguese webpage). It is believed that this formation could be part of a lost continent, something formed when South America split from Africa, around 100 million years ago. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on May 23, 2013 - 49 comments

More amusing than it has any right to be.

Deep-Sea Fauna with Googly Eyes. [via] [more inside]
posted by quin on Apr 12, 2013 - 10 comments

Deepstaria Enigmatica

Deepstaria Enigmatica, undulating, pulsating, mysterious. It fits in with the crazy-looking ones and is newly discovered. Not yet depicted in this fantastic Japanese illustrated gallery, Creatures of the Deep. [more inside]
posted by nickyskye on May 9, 2012 - 34 comments

Hoff crabs

Here are those hairy chested deep sea crabs you were asking about. We have named them "Hasselhoff Crabs" after David Hasselhof, because he is also known for his hairy chest.
posted by Meatbomb on Jan 5, 2012 - 43 comments

Project Nekton Redux

Over 50 years after the original Project Nekton, high-flying adventurer Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Oceanic team plans five dives into the deep blue sea with a one-man flying sub, starting with the 36,201 foot deep Mariana Trench.
posted by cenoxo on Apr 5, 2011 - 30 comments

the SERPENT project

The SERPENT project Collaborating closely with key players in the oil and gas industry, the SERPENT project aims to make cutting-edge industrial ROV technology and data more accessible to the world's science community, share knowledge and progress deep-sea research. Galleries, video of rare elbowed squid.
posted by dhruva on Nov 24, 2008 - 5 comments

Creepy Deepies

27 deep sea fish you've (probably) never seen. Creatures you haven't likely netted lately, as listed by the Bounty Fishing blog.
posted by SassHat on Aug 8, 2007 - 43 comments

That shit is deep.

Dude, there are some fucked up creatures crawling around on the ocean floor.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Dec 5, 2006 - 66 comments

How low can you go?

Project Nekton — Take Mt. Everest, add a mile to the top, and turn it upside down. That's how far oceanic explorers Jacques Piccard and USN Lt. Donald Walsh descended on January 23, 1960 into the Pacific's Challenger Deep, the lowest spot in Earth's oceans. Their submersible, the second-generation bathyscape Trieste, was designed by Swiss balloonist Auguste Piccard (Jacques' father) and built in Italy. This underwater balloon was buoyed by 70 tons of gasoline, ballasted by nine tons of steel shot, and dangled a cramped, six-foot diameter, 14 ton observation gondola underneath it [more Trieste photos here]. It took Piccard and Walsh nearly five hours to touch bottom 35,800 feet down in the Mariana Trench. Their unique voyage still stands 46 years later: no one has gone back—except by ROV—and more people have landed on the Moon.
posted by cenoxo on May 28, 2006 - 28 comments

Our glowing undersea friends.

Cuter than a fangtooth. Beautiful images of bioluminescent sea creatures. Learn the difference between fluorescence, phosphorescence, and bioluminescence, as well as the science behind the amazing chemical reaction. (I like the floppy-eared one the best--okay, the plastic bag looking one is nifty too.)
posted by lychee on May 12, 2004 - 4 comments

Sea And Sky:

Sea And Sky:
Sea news, sky news, great photos, NASA Mission Insignia Patches (including Skylab), info about deep sea creatures, exploration timelines, and tonnes more.
posted by Fabulon7 on Nov 5, 2002 - 5 comments

Bloop!

Bloop! Scientists have revealed a mysterious recording that they say could be the sound of a giant beast lurking in the depths of the ocean. Researchers have nicknamed the strange unidentified sound picked up by undersea microphones "Bloop."
Is it Cthulu? Communist robot sea monsters [pdf]?
posted by badstone on Jun 13, 2002 - 24 comments

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