Check out the top stories from the deep, taken from coverage between 21-28 August 2023
Discovered in the deep: an octopus’s garden in the shade
Source: The Guardian
Author: Helen Scales
Two miles under the dark ocean off California, 20,000 pearl octopuses use the gentle heat of nearby volcanic springs to help their babies hatch faster, and dramatically boosting their chances of survival.
Mysteries about the pearl octopus remain, including how far the octopuses migrate to the nest sites and whether, like salmon, they return to the spot where they were born. Octopuses have a good sense of smell and may follow the scent plume drifting from so many of their dead relatives. “It’s important that we consider the value of these little spots, and not indiscriminately wipe out areas of seabed,” says Dr Jim Barry, from MBARI who led the study.
OPINION: Protecting the deep: the imperative to ban deep sea mining
Author: Aden Miles Morunga
Pacific activists have provided a crucial indigenous narrative to stopping deep-sea mining. The long-term environmental impact of deep-sea mining remains largely unknown.
The deep sea holds secrets of marine life, geological wonders, and delicate ecosystems that have evolved over millions of years. It is a realm of mystery and wonder, a crucible of evolution and a critical component of our planet’s delicate balance. Banning deep-sea mining is not just an act of preservation; it’s a commitment to the sustainable and responsible stewardship of our global commons.
Broiling in the deep
Source: The Globe and Mail
Author: Shane Gross
“Midshipman can teach us so much about the deep sea without the expense and risk of physically going down there. They are the ocean’s canaries in the coal mine,” explains Dr. Sigal Balshine, a professor and director of the Aquatic Behavioural Ecology Laboratory at McMaster University.
To us, finding out a fish sings is just another fun fact, but for the midshipman it’s survival. Our ocean is becoming a noisier place from marine vessels, sonar, deep-sea mining and resource extraction. This venomous, deep-sea species that can emit their own light, and swims all the way up to the shore each spring to spawn is feeling the heat of the climate crisis, and ecologists are worried.
Remarkable ecosystem found beneath seafloor
Source: Make Water Famous
Author: Leilah Nicola
An underwater robot helped uncover worms, snails and bacteria living in volcanic cavities beneath hydrothermal vents, 2,500m deep, on the East Pacific Rise off Central America.
The discoveries were made during a 30-day expedition aboard Schmidt Ocean Institute’s research vessel. “We made a discovery even better than I was expecting. This will change our view on life at vents. Our understanding of animal life at deep-sea hydrothermal vents has greatly expanded.” – Dr Monica Bright.