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Earth Science

First Look At the Animals of the New Hebrides Trench 40

Posted by samzenpus
from the under-the-sea dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Scientists have released pictures of the animals they've found in the New Hebrides Trench, more than 7,000m down. 'The team used an unmanned lander fitted with cameras to film the deep-sea creatures. The scientists said the ecology of this trench differed with other regions of the deep that had been studied. "We're starting to find out that what happens at one trench doesn't necessarily represent what happens in all the trenches," said Dr Alan Jamieson, from Oceanlab at the University of Aberdeen, UK, who carried out the expedition with the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research in New Zealand.'"
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First Look At the Animals of the New Hebrides Trench

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  • Guess they don't get around much.

  • by liwee (3407373)
    No godzilla?
  • Where's Nemo?
  • I really don't understand how anything survives down there. The amount of pressure must be immense.

    • by expatriot (903070) on Monday March 03, 2014 @05:41AM (#46386395)

      The pressure inside equals the pressure outside (which is true for us also). They are not hollow glass spheres.

      The pressure does change chemistry as reactions are affected by temperature and pressure.

    • Just don't travel up and down the water column with trapped gas and you'll be fine.

      Oh, you breathe air? Well, that presents extra challenges.

      So much solar energy gets converted to chemical energy and then falls to the bottom of the ocean - it was more or less inevitable that surface life would evolve and exploit it somehow.

    • And that's why when you try to bring creatures up from that depth, they often fall to pieces. The pictures of blobfish that we usually see are pictures of the fish after they've been hauled up. They look totally different when they're still alive.

      • The trick is to bring them up over a period of hours, or even days, rather than to reel them in as fast as you can. Let the pressures equalize slowly, and you can get your blobfish aboard all in one piece. Scuba diving classes teach you that much.

        • by Anonymous Coward
          Many of the species won't survive no matter how slow you bring them up (well, maybe if you do so over the course of many generations timescale...). There are still some that have small gas vesicles in cells, and different membrane compositions in cells to account for what pressure does to the chemistry and structure of such things. Their metabolism ends up being kind of frail and they die without the pressure.
        • by riverat1 (1048260)

          Better to just capture them in a container that can maintain the pressure as you bring them to the surface.

    • Pressure bothers us because we have internal air spaces, which get compressed. If you were full of nigh-incompressible water, the depth isn't so much of a problem.
  • Really? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by argStyopa (232550) on Monday March 03, 2014 @07:25AM (#46386667) Journal

    "...We're starting to find out that what happens at one trench doesn't necessarily represent what happens in all the trenches..."

    When speciation is happening in adjacent subway tunnels in the London Underground over as short a span as 100 years, I think it's pretty certain that deep-sea trenches separated by hundreds if not thousands of miles will evolve rather dramatically differently?

    • by cusco (717999)

      Citation needed. I mean really, that's incredibly cool. If you're talking about the molestus mosquito, the Wikipedia entry seems self-contradictory in places and unclear how the thing is spreading across the ocean to other subway systems.

    • "Finding out" is different than "predicted." It's all well and good to assume that what happens in one trench is not going to be true in other trenches, given the isolation, but you don't really know unless you go to the other trenches.

      Also, skimming the wiki article on the london subway mosquitoes you might be referring to [wikipedia.org], it looks more like the mosquitoes diverged by taking advantage of a new niche, not reproductive isolation. They evolved because it's fairly warm year round, there are people in the
    • In the absence of data, science tends to assume that the observations in hand also apply to places not observed yet. When it comes true, everybody cheers. The rest of the time, there's a progression of "that's strange... I don't believe you - prove it!... Hmmm, we need a grant to study this."

      There should be a "meta-science of the unknown" to explain how much we don't know, based on the variability of our existing observations - how likely we are to find new and surprising things, based on how often our ex

    • by PPH (736903)

      When speciation is happening in adjacent subway tunnels in the London Underground

      Not sure if you are referring to the mosquitos or the variations in the dress styles of the chavs hanging around the platforms.

    • When speciation is happening in adjacent subway tunnels in the London Underground over as short a span as 100 years, I think it's pretty certain that deep-sea trenches separated by hundreds if not thousands of miles will evolve rather dramatically differently?

      "Thinking" that something is "pretty certain" is different from knowing for certain - the former is nothing, the latter is science.

  • The team used an unmanned lander

    Never send a man to do a robot's job - just like space exploration should be done.

  • Doesn't this violate the Benthic Treaty?
  • by NapalmV (1934294)
    Who could have guessed they have credit cards down there???

    The Brits got such a great deal with partially funding BBC via advertising. Instead of directly funding BBC via taxes, they now spend the same amount on increased products prices, and get to watch advertising instead of useful programming.
    • It's the American cable TV model, something I never understood and have never subscribed to... premium programming, with Ads!

    • by Fusen (841730)

      There are no ads on the BBC for British people though?

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