Deep sea special: The undiscovered oceans

 作者:商嵋耄     |      日期:2019-04-04 11:02:10
By Mark Schrope LAST year I found myself on a ship in the Gulf of Mexico, 240 kilometres south-east of New Orleans. I was tagging along with a team from Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institution in Florida, where I work as a writer. They were there to test a camera system called the Eye-in-the-Sea, which uses red light invisible to most denizens of the deep to avoid disturbing them. When the team watched the first video back on the ship, they went absolutely bonkers, screaming and laughing with delight. After just an hour on the bottom, the camera had captured remarkable footage of a two-metre-long squid that might be a new species. This September, the group caught a glimpse of a similar squid hundreds of kilometres away, suggesting that it may not be uncommon. Imagine, a squid larger than a human, and we didn’t even know it existed. On an earlier test in Monterey Bay off California, something moved the entire – very heavy – camera system several metres. The video showed only a giant cloud of silt. Whatever was responsible remains a mystery. You might think there is little left to discover on Earth in the 21st century, yet the deep sea remains almost entirely unknown. Only a tiny fraction of the sea floor has been explored. “Monterey Bay is the best observed sea floor in the world,” says Charles Paull of the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) in Moss Landing,