Imagine you could travel away from our familiar shores, out to the open ocean and begin diving down.
What would you experience?
In the first few tens of metres there would be some light remaining, but this would start to fade rapidly. Dive deeper and the temperature will drop and the pressure rise. Once you reach the depths of the ocean the pressure will be immense, the temperature around freezing, and all light absent. It is hard to imagine a more hostile environment than this icy cold, pitch black, crushing ecosystem of the deep ocean. It is even harder to imagine there could be anything living there. Yet, there is life – the deep oceans are filled with a myriad of strange life forms, creatures beyond our imagination.
Thousands of fish, seastars, crustaceans, corals, jellyfish and worms, have evolved to survive here. Many of these animals appear alien to us; some having huge eyes to capture any remaining light, immense gaping jaws filled with needle sharp teeth, and with transparent, inky black or deep red bodies, allowing them to disappear in the dark.