Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute

Marine science and technology videos

MBARI's video lab has prepared a number of videos for both educational and research purposes. The video clips below represent a sampling of the full catalog of original videos available on MBARI's YouTube channel. The videos on this page have been divided into three categories: Science, Engineering, and Marine Life.

Marine Science Videos

There's no such thing as a jellyfish

By all accounts, jellyfish are creatures that kill people, eat microbes, grow to tens of meters, filter phytoplankton, take over ecosystems, and live forever. Because of the immense diversity of gelatinous plankton, jelly-like creatures can individually have each of these properties. However this way of looking at them both overstates and underestimates their true diversity.

Antarctic icebergs and the carbon cycle

The first comprehensive study of the biological effects of Antarctic icebergs shows that they fertilize the Southern Ocean, enhancing the growth of algae that take up carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and then, through marine food chains, transfer carbon into the deep sea.

Davidson Seamount: The Biology of an Underwater Mountain

Over the last two decades, marine biologists have discovered lush forests of deep-sea corals and sponges growing on seamounts (underwater mountains) offshore of the California coast. It has generally been assumed that many of these animals live only on seamounts, and are found nowhere else. However, new research from MBARI shows that most seamount animals can also be found in other deep-sea areas.

Boneworms on dead whales in Monterey Bay

It sounds like a classic horror story—eyeless, mouthless worms lurk in the dark, settling onto dead animals and sending out green "roots" to devour their bones. In fact, such "boneworms" do exist in the deep sea. After planting several dead whales on the seafloor, a team of biologists recently announced that as many as 15 different species of boneworms may live in Monterey Bay alone.

Do the locomotion in the deep!

Researchers at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute use remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) to observe deep-sea animal behaviors. This video shows highlights from high definition video recorded from the ROVs. Deep-sea organisms use a variety of ways to swim. Among them are fish that undulate tails, sea spiders that "stride" through the water with their legs, and feather stars that use arm strokes to propel themselves when they detach from the seafloor.

Life on the edge: Is ocean acidification a threat to deep-sea life?

Even animals living in the deep ocean are affected by the increasing emissions of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. The ocean naturally absorbs carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, resulting in a more acidic habitat for ocean life. Researchers at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute use a series of specially designed chambers to study how deep-sea animals will respond to this change in ocean chemistry.

Challenges of the Deep

This short video (approximately 15 minutes) uses stunning undersea footage from MBARI’s remotely-operated vehicles to teach students about the various challenges that midwater and deep-sea organisms face, and the adaptations they have developed in order to survive in this inhospitable environment.

Marine Life Videos

Hide and Seek in the Deep

This video shows some adaptations animals have for camouflaging themselves in the deep sea. Many of the animals in the deep-sea use red pigments to hide themselves because red light is one of the first wavelengths of visible light to be absorbed by the ocean (at approximately 100 meters), rendering any animal using it invisible. The red coloration is visible in these images because high-intensity lights shining from the ROV illuminate the scene.

Macropinna microstoma: A deep-sea fish with a transparent head and tubular eyes

MBARI researchers Bruce Robison and Kim Reisenbichler used video taken by unmanned, undersea robots called remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) to study barreleye fish in the deep waters just offshore of Central California. The ROV video revealed a previously undescribed feature of these fish—its eyes are surrounded by a transparent, fluid-filled shield that covers the top of the fish's head.

Anthology of Deep Sea Squids

The squids featured in this video were filmed in Monterey Bay (except for the Piglet Squid, which was filmed in the Gulf of California) at depths ranging from 980 to 3,150 feet.

The Vampire Squid - an ancient species faces new dangers in the deep

The vampire squid (Vampyroteuthis infernalis) lives in the deep ocean, home to the largest ecosystems on our planet. A "living fossil," this animal has remained relatively unchanged for hundreds of millions of years.

Eerie critters of the deep: BIG TEETH

A compilation of eerie, creepy, and scary deep-sea fish with BIG TEETH. In order of appearance: Aristostomias scintillans (Shiny loosejaw), Anoplogaster cornuta (Fangtooth), Tactostoma macropus (Longfin dragonfish), Chaenophryne, Chauliodus macouni (Viperfish), Tactostoma macropus (Longfin dragonfish), Chauliodus macouni (Viperfish), Tactostoma macropus (Longfin dragonfish).

Marine Engineering Videos

Tethys - A new breed of undersea robot

Over the past decade, the undersea robots known as autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) have become increasingly important in oceanographic research. MBARI engineers recently demonstrated a new super-efficient AUV that can travel rapidly for hundreds of kilometers, "hover" in the water for weeks at a time, and carry a wide variety of instruments.

The Deep Environmental Sample Processor (Deep-ESP)

The Environmental sample processor (ESP) is an automated molecular biology laboratory. Floating in the open ocean or moored in the deep sea, it can detect microbes and other tiny living organisms using their genetic material. It can also detect other biologically important compounds such as toxins generated during harmful algal blooms. This video shows a test of the "Deep-ESP," which can operate as deep as 4,000 meters below the ocean surface.

Autonomous Underwater Vehicle

Autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) are robotic submarines that are programmed at the surface, then move through the water on their own, recording data, taking photographs, or collecting water samples as they go.

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Last updated: Apr. 25, 2013