The most incredible snowfall on Earth actually occurs deep in the ocean. The particles of organic material known as marine snow are constantly streaming from the surface of the ocean down to the deep sea. This mixture is made up of dead bodies, poop, and snot. As the marine snow sinks, it is consumed by deep-sea life in the midwater and some of it makes its way all the way to the deep seafloor, becoming food for benthic animals. Deep-sea animals in the abyssal realm rely upon marine snow as their primary source of food. MBARI researchers are studying how pulses of this sinking carbon are reaching the deep sea in ways not captured by global climate models.
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