Life in the deep sea

It is said that more is known about the surface of Mars than the dark below of the Earth’s oceans and in many cases this is true.

The deep sea as you expect is very cold and under extremely high pressure from the huge amount of seawater pressing down on everything beneath it. Very little light is found here apart from biological production as the sunlight can’t penetrate to that depth.

In 1847 is was first proposed by Edward Forbes that no life existed in the sea deeper than 1800 feet. This hypothesis at the time was called the azoic theory and was thought to be true. It wasn’t until the 1850’s that Michael Sars disproved what is thought to be the first marine biological hypothesis by proving that there was in fact life below this depth.

Since then the extreme habitats found in the deep sea environment have become a key research area for biodiversity and species richness. In these extreme environments there are three habitats where there is an influx of organisms that you wouldn’t normally expect. These are cold seeps, hydrothermal vents and seamounts. I will briefly give a quick overview of these phenomenal habitats on separate pages.

Many questions have arose, as to how can such life be possible with what are supposed to be extreme factors limiting life when in fact some organisms are seeming to thrive and utilise  those conditions. One of these organisms is the goblin shark Mitsukurina owstoni and this creature is what I’ll be focusing my blog on.

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