Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute
Press Room
7 May 2014

Images related to the MBARI News Release
First-ever study describes deep-sea animal communities on and around a sunken shipping container

Note: These images may not be copied, reprinted, or used without explicit permission from MBARI. Members of the media needing higher-resolution versions should contact Kim Fulton-Bennett,, 831-775-1835.

After seven years on the deep seafloor, this sunken shipping container had been colonized by a variety of deep-sea animals.
Image credit: © 2011 MBARI / NOAA

Between 2004, when this shipping container sank to the seafloor, and 2011, many animals colonized the outside of the container. Surprisingly, the surface of the container had changed very little in appearance.
Image credit: © 2014 MBARI

Animals on the sunken container included tubeworms (hanging off the side of the container) and Neptunea snails, which laid eggs in columns along the edge of the container.
Image credit: © 2011 MBARI / NOAA

Deep-sea crabs crawl around the base of the sunken container, which was littered with shells of Neptunea snails that had laid eggs on the container.
Image credit: © 2011 MBARI /NOAA

The animals growing on the sunken shipping container were quite different from those growing on the surrounding seafloor.
Image credit: © 2014 MBARI

Scientists in the ROV control room on board MBARI's research vessel Western Flyer watch as the ROV Doc Ricketts approaches the sunken shipping container.
Image credit: Chad King, Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary

Last updated: May. 07, 2014