The Deep Sea
December 5, 2019 2:32 PM   Subscribe

Scroll down... Keep scrolling. By Neal Agarwal. More here.
posted by motty (69 comments total) 99 users marked this as a favorite
 
This was very compelling. If I could do it over again I would have chosen 'deep sea explorer' as my own career.
posted by cape at 2:33 PM on December 5, 2019 [2 favorites]


I was delighted to learn today about the existence of the Terrible Claw Lobster! What a great name.

Loved this scrolling infographic! Thanks for sharing.
posted by the thorn bushes have roses at 2:37 PM on December 5, 2019 [8 favorites]


Well, now I just feel vaguely out of breath.
posted by PussKillian at 2:42 PM on December 5, 2019 [3 favorites]


Up until today I would not have anticipated that a web page could induce thalassophobia. Still, A+ would scroll again.
posted by Two unicycles and some duct tape at 2:46 PM on December 5, 2019 [10 favorites]


Deep! So many wonderful strange names of creatures.
posted by readinghippo at 3:04 PM on December 5, 2019 [1 favorite]


I knew there's all kinds of life deep down, but then again, a bird at 500m? A whale at 3km? Colour me amazed.
posted by farlukar at 3:06 PM on December 5, 2019 [13 favorites]


Wow. Just....wow.
posted by ALeaflikeStructure at 3:13 PM on December 5, 2019 [1 favorite]


Very cool, it's crazy how deep and vast the ocean is. Just think of how much trash we could put in there!
posted by GoblinHoney at 3:13 PM on December 5, 2019 [9 favorites]


Neal Agarwal anagrams to Narwal Algae.

I don't if that's important, but I thought it should be noted.
posted by donpardo at 3:17 PM on December 5, 2019 [36 favorites]


That was fantastic.
posted by zardoz at 3:22 PM on December 5, 2019


It's fascinating, but now I want to know more -- how does deep sea life survive? how do they find each other, if they reproduce sexually? Who the hell came up with the awe-inspiringly weird names?

It really seems like so many of these species are *old*, lone survivors from eons past. It's a little chilling.
posted by jrochest at 3:27 PM on December 5, 2019 [1 favorite]


Very similar to Ridiculous Fishing, without all the shooting.
posted by Kafkaesque at 3:28 PM on December 5, 2019 [2 favorites]


Cookiecutter Shark

This shark takes cookie-shaped chunks out of its prey.


WHAT.

Faceless fish

Gah.

This was really cool. It calls to mind a diagram I saw as a kid (again, with the Trieste at the bottom) that might have been in a children's encyclopedia or something.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 3:32 PM on December 5, 2019 [1 favorite]


I could sense my heart rate increase as I kept scrolling and despite the existential horrors of the deep, sunless ocean... there was no Goatse at the very bottom.

phew!
posted by bigendian at 3:35 PM on December 5, 2019 [4 favorites]


This. This is the internet I used to know.
posted by alspacka at 3:45 PM on December 5, 2019 [23 favorites]


> there was no Goatse at the very bottom.

phew!
No R'lyeh either.
posted by farlukar at 3:56 PM on December 5, 2019 [2 favorites]


I love that the deeper you go, the weirder the names!
posted by pangolin party at 4:07 PM on December 5, 2019 [1 favorite]


I was blown away about how deep the Patagonia Toothfish lived (3,800 meters) - that's Chilean Sea Bass for those of you who shop at Whole Foods.

I try not to take for granted the foods we eat, and the lengths people have gone to create a commercial fishery. But perhaps we should leave some of these creatures alone. There's enough on the buffet already.
posted by helmutdog at 4:15 PM on December 5, 2019 [9 favorites]


Cookiecutters are the scariest sharks, to me. A great white or a bull is an existential threat, but a cookiecutter can just slither right up to you and take a chunk of flesh the size of a Toll House. It hurts just to think about it. And imagine the whales, seals, and other creatures who have to live with those bites all full of salt water--

There was a fad for orange roughy when I was young. I tried some and did not like it. I was sorry to discover, years later, that a creature long-lived enough to have outlasted Queen Victoria came to such an end in front of me.
posted by Countess Elena at 4:18 PM on December 5, 2019 [9 favorites]


This is SO COOL - thanks for sharing!

But seriously - Gummy shark? Blobfish? Headless chicken fish? Sometimes it felt like someone was just testing to see if I was still scrolling.
posted by Mchelly at 4:25 PM on December 5, 2019 [8 favorites]


farlukar: I knew there's all kinds of life deep down, but then again, a bird at 500m? A whale at 3km? Colour me amazed.

For real! Imagine you're a marine biologist in a submarine, studying the inky depths, where nothing dwells but thermal vent feeders and vampire squid and strange bioluminescent creatures. And then all of a sudden you see a FUCKING WHALE
posted by capricorn at 5:07 PM on December 5, 2019 [10 favorites]


also Stoplight Loosejaw is what I'm changing my name to if I ever have to go into witness protection. You heard it here first, MetaFilter.
posted by capricorn at 5:08 PM on December 5, 2019 [10 favorites]


I always wondered what happened to that old 1980s jangle rock band, the Orange Roughies. There they were, 1100 meters deep in the ocean this whole time. Man, talk about an underground act.
posted by NoMich at 5:12 PM on December 5, 2019 [2 favorites]


Up until today I would not have anticipated that a web page could induce thalassophobia.

Seriously. I'm at 3000m and I'm kinda freaked out right now.
posted by rhizome at 5:52 PM on December 5, 2019 [1 favorite]


Sixgill sharks are my new spirit animal, since they spend the day in complete darkness and then go into the "light" at night time. Should be called the Night Owl shark...
posted by Chuffy at 6:05 PM on December 5, 2019 [2 favorites]


The harp sponge. How beautiful and interesting. (Slyt)
posted by Rufous-headed Towhee heehee at 6:06 PM on December 5, 2019 [3 favorites]


[Quick Public service announcement: Please don't use the term "spirit animal" in a jokey way -- it's something our Native American members have asked people not to do. (Check out the new Metafilter Community Guidelines on this; we're asking people to be respectful rather than exoticizing or jokey about another culture's touchstones like religious beliefs.) An alternative word to use for jokes might be "patronus" from Harry Potter, or just "my inspiration". Thanks.]
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 6:20 PM on December 5, 2019 [26 favorites]


The murre amazes me. It can't possibly see food from the sky in dark water that deep, so I wonder what guides it. Are there surfaces signs that it knows that say there is probably fish below and make it worth a dive and look around?
posted by tavella at 6:58 PM on December 5, 2019


Life truly does find a way
posted by Redhush at 7:05 PM on December 5, 2019


Patagonian Toothfish have antifreeze proteins in its tissues to prevent freezing in sub zero temperatures.

aka "Chilean Seabass", a name invented by marketers in the 1970's. Do you know that these things can live for 50 years, provided they are not captured to be carved up and sold for $25/lb at Whole Foods?
posted by thelonius at 7:22 PM on December 5, 2019 [2 favorites]


It's turtles half the way down!
posted by mono blanco at 8:17 PM on December 5, 2019 [12 favorites]


how does deep sea life survive?

Whale fall. Marine snow.
posted by explosion at 8:40 PM on December 5, 2019 [5 favorites]


It's turtles half the way down!

And it's trash all the way down :(

Very cool, it's crazy how deep and vast the ocean is. Just think of how much trash we could put in there!

Trash in Marianas Trench: the World’s Deepest Garbage Destination
a recent study (NatGeo summarizing an article in Nature) shows that Marianas Trench is even more polluted than the most polluted rivers of China! They theorized that the high level of trash concentration here came from the ocean plastic debris all over the world. Deep-sea dwellers in Marianas Trench, called amphipods, are found positive to high concentration of POPs or Persistent Organic Pollutants. POPs are toxic industrial chemicals that can’t be broken down by nature. These chemicals have been banned in the late 1970s after discovering that it can cause cellular mutations, including cancer. These 2-cm scavengers might have fed upon dead and larger species that once survived in highly polluted oceanic areas. The first 10,000-16,000 feet of the trench is also filled with trash and many creatures are found to be innocently clinging or eating it.
I found that article while looking for information on materials that are found compressed at those depths, because a relative brought back a compressed styrofoam cup from a deep-sea dive she did in college.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:41 PM on December 5, 2019 [6 favorites]


Aw, they lifted our Mystery Hunt site concept. Left out the puns, though.

(but seriously, this is fantastic)
posted by teferi at 9:12 PM on December 5, 2019 [1 favorite]


There are a few slight factual inaccuracies (regarding species depth ranges) that I will refrain from smugly pointing out because this thing is delightful and doesn't need some asshole getting pedantic about it.
posted by deadbilly at 12:02 AM on December 6, 2019 [1 favorite]


I wonder if the Terrible Claw Lobster has a really viscous claw or if it’s just really bad at being a claw lobster.... the latter would be pretty hurtful.
posted by GenjiandProust at 3:15 AM on December 6, 2019 [9 favorites]


That was really neat. I was a little bit filled with dread as I scrolled because I feel like there is some terrifying shit in the deepish parts of the ocean. Fortunately, nothing that I saw was really scary in this context, but it did add a certain tension to the whole experience.

And, like Countess Elena, I have eaten orange roughy. And now that I know they live to be hundreds of years old I am pretty sad about that.
posted by jacquilynne at 4:13 AM on December 6, 2019 [1 favorite]


Anyone who, like me, has been exposed to the Octonauts will recognize a number of the midnight-zone dwellers. Nonetheless, I kept thinking 'surely that's the last airbreather'.
posted by Omission at 5:39 AM on December 6, 2019 [4 favorites]


Stoplight Loosejaw

Roll Fizzlebeef!
Blast Hardcheese!
Gristle McThornbody!
posted by sugar and confetti at 7:31 AM on December 6, 2019 [5 favorites]


Welp, I guess I'll read Starfish again.
posted by snwod at 7:44 AM on December 6, 2019 [3 favorites]


thoughts:
I love mahi mahi! (not for eating, just for looking. the colors and large forehead are splendid)
Wow bottlenose dolphins, which i've seen many times at the beach, can dive 300 meters? 900 feet. nine. hundred. can you imagine have 900 feet of stuff above you? i cannot.
The tallest building i've ever been is the sears tower, at around 484 meters. Emperor penguins can dive 530m. I'm shook.
I love sunfish they're so stupid.
"Giant Oarfish can grow up to 11m long." Here be monsters
i've never heard of marrus orthocanna and it is soooo cool. This is my favorite of the new creatures i learned of from this
my eye started twitching thinking about sea turtles and narwhals diving to 1800 meters
I just looked at my scroll bar, and my jar dropped. Holy shit. I'll end this here or else this comment would be several pages long.

The wonders of nature!
posted by FirstMateKate at 7:55 AM on December 6, 2019 [6 favorites]


how do they find each other, if they reproduce sexually?

Not easily - which is why male Anglerfish attach themselves to the first female they meet, and they are connected for life.
posted by jb at 8:13 AM on December 6, 2019 [5 favorites]


also: in response to the FPP - I don't know if I'm supposed to be sitting at my work-desk with my jaw wide open in amazement, but I can't help it.
posted by jb at 8:19 AM on December 6, 2019


Wow, that was fantastic. Just when I’d think “no way any mammals can survive this far down” another whale or turtle would pop up, utterly amazing.
posted by Bornanerd at 8:31 AM on December 6, 2019 [5 favorites]


Thanks for this, it was magical and wonderful. I kept muttering 'you're joking' to myself scrolling down. And wondering what the hell prey the cookie cutter shark, for instance, finds to take biscuit-shaped chunks out of.
posted by glasseyes at 8:38 AM on December 6, 2019


Literally everything, says Wikipedia:
Virtually every type of medium- to large-sized oceanic animal sharing the habitat of the cookiecutter shark is open to attack; bite scars have been found on cetaceans (including porpoises, dolphins, beaked whales, sperm whales and baleen whales), pinnipeds (including fur seals, leopard seals and elephant seals), dugongs, sharks (including blue sharks, goblin sharks, basking sharks, great white sharks, megamouth sharks and smalltooth sand tiger sharks), stingrays (including deepwater stingrays, pelagic stingrays and sixgill stingrays), and bony fishes (including billfishes, tunas, dolphinfishes, jacks, escolars, opahs, and pomfrets).[3][14][18][19] The cookiecutter shark also regularly hunts and eats entire squid with a mantle length of 15–30 cm (5.9–11.8 in), comparable in size to the shark itself, as well as bristlemouths, copepods, and other prey of more modest dimensions.[11]
And
Marks made by cookiecutter sharks have been found on a wide variety of marine mammals and fishes, as well as on submarines, undersea cables, and even human bodies. It also consumes whole smaller prey such as squid.
So apparently the strategy is if something is there, take a chunk: maybe it'll be edible.

Also the article has a couple photos, which look exactly like you would imagine a dead sea creature with randomly-placed, more or less circular bites taken out of it would look.
posted by Spathe Cadet at 9:00 AM on December 6, 2019 [2 favorites]


I'm so glad that I'm not only one who had a physical reaction from scrolling. That dread was brutal.

I love the ocean. I need to be near it. But I don't swim in it. It's the domain of creatures bigger, stronger, and higher on the food chain than me. Respect.
posted by Ruki at 9:22 AM on December 6, 2019


After such an amazing variety of life, seeing the Titanic gave me pause.
posted by Gelatin at 9:24 AM on December 6, 2019 [1 favorite]


The story of the demise of the USS Johnston is pretty interesting, too.
posted by rhizome at 9:57 AM on December 6, 2019 [1 favorite]


Fucking manatees are just phoning it in again.
posted by Abehammerb Lincoln at 10:57 AM on December 6, 2019 [8 favorites]


The story of the demise of the USS Johnston is pretty interesting, too.

According to that page, the wreck of the Johnston was discovered late this year (or only announced late this year, in any case), so this is quite current.
posted by jacquilynne at 10:58 AM on December 6, 2019


Stoplight Loosejaw

Roll Fizzlebeef!
Blast Hardcheese!
Gristle McThornbody!


Slut Bunwalla!
Englebert Humperdink!
posted by MiraK at 11:25 AM on December 6, 2019


I had fucking nightmares about this page last night I hope you're happy Neal Agarwal.
posted by MiraK at 11:26 AM on December 6, 2019 [3 favorites]


@lobstermitten: feel free to remove my comment, and thanks for explaining it to me.
posted by Chuffy at 11:36 AM on December 6, 2019 [1 favorite]


On March 26, 2012, the Deepsea Challenger submersible — piloted by film director James Cameron (The Abyss, Titanic, etc.) — was the second manned mission to reach the bottom of the Challenger Deep. See Journey to the Deep with James Cameron - Nierenberg Prize 2013 (YT).

The Bathyscaphe Trieste still holds the official manned deep diving record.
posted by cenoxo at 12:04 PM on December 6, 2019 [1 favorite]


My kid is really into Narwhals right now I can't wait to show her this it will amaze her how deep they can dive.
posted by cape at 12:16 PM on December 6, 2019 [1 favorite]


I remember going to the bottom of a six foot pool when I was a kid and thinking the pressure was too much. What is the pressure at the bottom of the Marianus trench?
posted by njohnson23 at 1:52 PM on December 6, 2019 [1 favorite]


Way way too much.

Even if you’re a tube worm.
posted by GenjiandProust at 2:00 PM on December 6, 2019 [2 favorites]


What is the pressure at the bottom of the Marianus trench?

Some googling tells me something like 1100-1200 atmospheres, which...damn.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 4:02 PM on December 6, 2019


Mariana Trench (WP):
The Mariana Trench or Marianas Trench[1] is located in the western Pacific Ocean about 200 kilometres (124 mi) east of the Mariana Islands; it is the deepest trench in the world. It is crescent-shaped and measures about 2,550 km (1,580 mi) in length and 69 km (43 mi) in width. The maximum known depth is 10,984 metres (36,037 ft) (± 25 metres [82 ft]) at the southern end of a small slot-shaped valley in its floor known as the Challenger Deep.[2] However, some unrepeated measurements place the deepest portion at 11,034 metres (36,201 ft).[3] By comparison: if Mount Everest were placed into the trench at this point, its peak would still be over two kilometres (1.2 mi) under water.[a]

At the bottom of the trench the water column above exerts a pressure of 1,086 bars (15,750 psi), more than 1,000 times the standard atmospheric pressure at sea level. At this pressure, the density of water is increased by 4.96%. The temperature at the bottom is 1 to 4 °C (34 to 39 °F).[6]...
You cannot breathe air through a tube at surprisingly shallow depths. Even using a diving mask with a longer-than-normal snorkel, water pressure on your chest at about two feet prevents you from drawing in a breath from the surface.
posted by cenoxo at 5:33 PM on December 6, 2019


I see this Baird's Beaked Whale every day at work and see the species listed as reaching a depth of 975 meters whereas other sources list them diving to 1200. Either depth is impressive for there and back in one breath. Still a whale can move a lot faster than thee or me. But then I see the leather backed sea turtle reaching 948 meters and back on the same one breath and they are not exactly the speedsters of the sea. Which makes me wonder about from where this is sourced. It's a ponder for sure.

D'oh! I stand corrected, according to Wikipedia:
Leatherback turtles are one of the deepest-diving marine animals. Individuals have been recorded diving to depths as great as 1,280 m (4,200 ft). Typical dive durations are between 3 and 8 minutes, with dives of 30–70 minutes occurring infrequently. They are also the fastest-moving reptiles.
posted by y2karl at 11:51 PM on December 7, 2019 [1 favorite]


The fastest moving reptiles...
Who'd a-thunk ?
Well, I am impressed.
Damn.
posted by y2karl at 11:59 PM on December 7, 2019


For the record: Deep diving adaptations of Leatherback turtles
tldr: They have been recorded diving down to a depth of 1000 meters.
I guess it really is turtles all the way down.
posted by y2karl at 12:11 AM on December 8, 2019 [5 favorites]


The fastest moving reptiles...

In fact, there's one behind you right now.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 7:20 AM on December 8, 2019 [3 favorites]


The Atlantic salmon at 0-1m depth were what surprised me right off, not that I know un-farmed Atlantic salmon personally. Fish & Wildlife says "After two to three years, they migrate through the estuary and into the ocean where they inhabit depths between 0 and 210 m (0 – 693ft."
posted by away for regrooving at 11:36 PM on December 8, 2019


Incredible. Thank you for sharing.
posted by widdershins at 7:39 AM on December 9, 2019


Boy, the more I have looked into Leatherback sea turtles, the more amazed have I become. They cruise around 4 to 6 miles an hour but have been recorded reaching 22.5 mph in short bursts -- Michael Phelps has attained their cruising speed in bursts much shorter. I was going to make a comment noting they were the fastest marine reptiles when I realized I know of no terrestrial reptile that moving that fast. As for distance, one electronically tagged female swam 11,000 odd miles from Indonesia to off the shores of Oregon. And they have been around since the Eocene. Biggest, heaviest, longest ranging, fastest, one of the most ancient of living species of reptiles -- and all this on a diet of mostly jellyfish. What marvelous creatures.
posted by y2karl at 2:35 PM on December 9, 2019 [5 favorites]


Gorgeous and elegant.

I remember being keen on the Trieste when I was a lad.
posted by doctornemo at 2:02 PM on December 13, 2019 [1 favorite]


Although Emperor Penguins can dive over 518 meters (1700 feet), the deepest diving flying bird is the Thick-Winged Murre (Uria lomvia), which can also fly underwater (YT) and reach depths of 210 meters (690 feet). They have some unique diving and breeding characteristics (WP):
The strong and direct flight of murres, which is, for their body size, the most costly form of sustained locomotion of any animal, is a result of their short wingspan[5]. The diving depths and durations regularly achieved by these birds indicate that they, and similar auks, have some—as yet unknown—mechanism to avoid diving sickness [the bends] and lung collapse when surfacing.[19]
...
Thick-billed murres form vast breeding colonies, sometimes composed of over a million breeding birds, on narrow ledges and steep cliffs which face the water.[13] They have the smallest territory of any bird,[13] requiring less than one square foot per individual.
Walk, fly, swim, and dive: eat your hearts out, naked apes.
posted by cenoxo at 8:37 PM on December 13, 2019 [1 favorite]


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