In the deep waters of the ocean, there are no places to hide. To avoid predators, many deep-sea animals have dark-colored, reflective, or transparent bodies. Others have evolved elaborate methods of deception.
During a recent expedition to map earthquake faults in Monterey Bay, MBARI researchers discovered the wreck of a barge on the muddy seafloor. The barge Umpqua II was about 1,700 meters (one mile) below the ocean surface.
The latest and most important scientific findings about ocean acidification have been compiled into a single, cohesive publication, co-authored by a Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute scientist. Senior Scientist James Barry is a lead author of the 100-page report.
Marine microbiologists typically use large databases to compare the genetic material of one microbe to that of others. Unfortunately, existing databases are woefully incomplete when it comes to microbes in the ocean.
Over one thousand miles wide and three thousand miles long, the Sargasso Sea occupies almost two thirds of the North Atlantic Ocean. Within the sea, circling ocean currents accumulate mats of Sargassum seaweed that shelter a surprising variety of fishes, snails, crabs, and other small animals.
Ocean researchers are on the verge of gaining new insights about the changing Southern Ocean with help from sensors developed by a research team at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI).
Carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere by humans is causing the oceans to become more acidic. Unfortunately, oceanographers lack instruments can measure the acidity (pH) of the ocean precisely and continuously for long periods of time.
Researchers at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) have observed a deep-sea octopus brooding its eggs for four and one half years—longer than any other known animal.
Cephalopods—squids, octopuses, and their relatives—are some of the most beautiful and intriguing animals in the ocean. During the week of June 23-27, 2014, MBARI, the Monterey Bay Aquarium, and Science Friday teamed up to present a wonderful array of videos and still images of these creatures.
From the vampire squid to the flapjack octopus, deep-sea cephalopods come in an amazing variety of shapes and sizes. Yet few humans have seen these animals alive. Since April, members of the public have been able to see these animals for the first time, as part of the ongoing Tentacles special exhibition at the Monterey Bay Aquarium.
It’s now late May and the spring 2014 ECOHAB field experiment is winding down. Researchers from the University of Southern California (USC) are still conducting occasional surveys of the San Pedro Bay, but the rest of the instruments have been recovered.
Thousands of shipping containers are lost from cargo vessels each year. Many of these containers eventually sink to the deep seafloor. In 2004, scientists at MBARI discovered a lost shipping container almost 1,300 meters (4,200 feet) below the surface of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary.
Killer sponges sound like creatures from a B-grade horror movie. In fact, they thrive in the lightless depths of the deep sea. Scientists first discovered that some sponges are carnivorous about 20 years ago. Since then only seven carnivorous species have been found in all of the northeastern Pacific.
In late March 2014, like stealthy electronic sharks, two underwater gliders began cruising the ocean in and around San Pedro Bay, off Southern California. But instead of looking for a meal of fish or sea lions, these robotic vehicles were looking for signs of microscopic algae.
When it comes to food, most of the deep sea is a desert. Many seafloor animals feed on marine snow—the organic remnants of algae and animals that live in the sunlit surface waters, far above. However, marine snow only falls as a light dusting and doesn’t have much nutritional value.