Tag Archives: oceanography

Monterey researchers take first-ever known video of mysterious black seadevil

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Research team captured first-ever video of a rarely-seen denizen of the deep called the black seadevil while conducting a dive in Monterey Bay, Calif. (Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute)

A research team conducting a dive in Monterey Bay off the coast of California have captured first-ever video of a rarely-seen denizen of the deep called the black seadevil.

The creature was spotted this week in the dark, deep waters 1,900 feet below the surface by researchers with the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute.

“We’ve been diving out here in the Monterey Canyon regularly for 25 years, and we’ve seen three,” MBARI Senior Scientist Bruce Robinson told the San Jose Mercury News Friday.

Robinson said a luminescent “fishing pole” projecting from the anglerfish’s head is a glowing lure to attract prey.

Robinson told the paper they captured the fish to study, but don’t know how long it will survive.
MyFox Los Angeles posted the institute’s two-minute-long video on its website, while pointing out that although the black seadevil seems menacing as its swims towards the camera, it is only about 3.5 inches long.

Little is known about the fish. Male black seadevils have a much shorter life span than females and are much tinier in comparison. Their sole purpose is to attach themself to a female, living as a parasite.


“If they don’t find a female, they drown,” University of Washington professor and deep-sea anglerfish expert Ted Pietsche told the Mercury News. “They’re not even properly equipped to eat.”

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Interesting Chart of Ocean Depths – With Some Humor…

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July 7, 2014 · 5:39 pm

Dino-era water trapped under impact crater

Dino-era water trapped under impact crater

By Tim Wall

Published November 19, 2013

Discovery News 

 If you’ve ever searched for dinos on the Internet, chances are, you’ve come across the drawings of Nobu Tamura. What began as a hobby in 2006, when he realized most dinosaurs on Wikipedia had no photos due to copyright, Tamura is now one of the most prolific producers of up-to-date paleo critters on the web. He’s shared with us his 19 favorite. For his complete works, check out his blog.

More than one kilometer beneath the Chesapeake Bay in Virginia, geologists discovered 100- to 150-million-year-old water from the Atlantic Ocean’s infancy. The ancient water hid under a more recent 56-mile-wide crater left after a massive rock or block of ice nailed the Earth near what is now the entrance to the bay.

U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) hydrologists didn’t know the water beneath the crater dated from dino days until they analyzed the chemicals in the water. The water held forms of chloride and bromide, along with other chemicals, that allowed the scientists to estimate the water’s age. And while older water is known from Canada, the Chesapeake Bay impact water is now the oldest large body of water known on the planet.

“Previous evidence for temperature and salinity levels of geologic-era oceans around the globe have been estimated indirectly from various types of evidence in deep sediment cores,” said lead author Ward Sanford, USGS research hydrologist, in a press release. “In contrast, our study identifies ancient seawater that remains in place in its geologic setting, enabling us to provide a direct estimate of its age and salinity.” Sanford and colleagues published their findings in the journal Nature.

The ancient water contained twice the salt content of the modern ocean and dates from the early Cretaceous Period, when dinosaurs dominated the planet and the newborn north Atlantic was more of a lake than an ocean.

In the late Jurassic Period, 150 million years ago, pieces of the Earth’s crust, called tectonic plates, split to divide Europe from North America and Africa. This split formed a rift basin filled with extremely salty water that would later become the Atlantic Ocean. However the Atlantic would have to wait 50 million years until the mid-Cretaceous for a space to open between what is now Central and South America, just as the narrow Strait of Gibraltar now allows the Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea to mingle.

Before the north Atlantic connected with the rest of the world’s waters, some of that briny water became trapped underground beneath a coastal plain and isolated. The water remained largely unchanged until approximately 35 million years ago when a meteor or comet slammed into the Earth during the late Eocene Epoch. That impact created massive tsunamis that swept far inland and devastated the Atlantic coast of North America, yet helped to preserve the Cretaceous ocean water.

The process that made the infant north Atlantic so salty can still be seen today. The Dead Sea contains extremely salt water because more water evaporates out of the sea than flows into it. The Uyuni salt flats of Bolivia serve as an example of what happens when an inland sea completely dries out. Even the Mediterranean nearly became a salt flat during a period from 5.96 to 5.33 million years ago when the sea’s connection to the Atlantic intermittently closed.

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Possible Evidence Of Continent Deep Beneath Atlantic Ocean

Brazilian ‘Atlantis’: Submersible Finds Possible Evidence Of Continent Deep Beneath Atlantic Ocean

The Huffington Post  |  By Posted: 05/07/2013 4:56 pm EDT  |  Updated: 05/08/2013 4:52 pm EDT

Nearly 2,600 years after Greek philosopher Plato wrote about the fabled metropolis of Atlantis, vanished forever beneath the sea, a Japanese-manned submersible has discovered rock structures that may be evidence of a continent that similarly disappeared beneath the Atlantic Ocean many, many years ago.

The Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC) and the Geology Service of Brazil (CPRM) announced Tuesday the discovery of granite at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean, about 900 miles off the coast of Rio de Janeiro.

Granite, normally found on dry land, suggests that a continent once existed in the region and then sank, much in the same way Plato described, according to The Japan Times.

“South America and Africa used to be a huge, unified continent,” Shinichi Kawakami, a professor at Gifu University told the outlet. “The area in question may have been left in water as the continent was separated in line with the movements of plates.”

Plato wrote that Atlantis was “an island situated in front of the straits which are by you called the Pillars of Hercules,” Reuters notes. During Plato’s time, the Straits of Gibraltar were known as the Pillars of Hercules, so Atlantis-seekers have focused their search in the Mediterranean and Atlantic. (However, others disregard the tale altogether, NTDTV points out.)

CPRM geology director Roberto Ventura Santos emphasizes that his team’s references to the so-called “Brazil’s Atlantis” are mostly symbolic.

“Obviously, we don’t expect to find a lost city in the middle of the Atlantic,” Santos said, according to the Telegraph. “But if it is the case that we find a continent in the middle of the ocean, it will be a very big discovery that could have various implications in relation to the extension of the continental shelf.”

JAMSTEC, which is currently conducting a variety of missions and experiments, has been exploring this region in the Atlantic for some time using its state-of-the-art manned mini-sub the Shinkai 6500, the Telegraph notes.

On its website, JAMSTEC states its mission is “to contribute to the advancement of academic research in addition to the improvement of marine science and technology by proceeding the fundamental research and development on marine, and the cooperative activities on the academic research related to the Ocean for the benefit of the peace and human welfare.”

Finding Plato’s actual lost city has been something of a holy grail for many researchers and has spawned several unproven “breakthroughs.”

In 2011, a team of researchers claimed to have found Atlantis buried in mud off the tip of Spain. The ancient city was allegedly flooded by a devastating tsunami, according to PopSci. In 2009, a mysterious, underwater grid pattern on Google Earth was also heralded by some as the lost city; however, Google Earth quickly explained it was a glitch created by sonar boat data collection, Time reported.

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