Deep reef ‘twilight zones’ slowly yield their secrets to explorers

Date: October 31, 2011

Author: Brian Vastag

Source: Washington Post

Ensconced in a plexiglass bubble some 500 feet beneath the azure waves of the southern Caribbean Sea, Carole Baldwin spied a lumpy oddball of a flesh-colored fish. It looked like an anglerfish, also known as a sea toad. Yet Baldwin, one of the most experienced Caribbean fish specialists alive, had not seen this variety.

She directed a technician in the five-person submarine to grab the creature with the vehicle’s suction arm. A squirt of anesthetic slowed the oddball so the arm could drop it into a milk crate strapped to the front of the sub.

Here, on one of 21 dives Baldwin and her colleagues made just off the island of Curacao, was another prize, another species probably new to science. Then the sub dropped. The groggy fish floated out of the crate, roused and wriggled off into the dark.


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Posted on Categories Science