How deep is your love? If you really need to know, this February, share your deep-ocean love with our collection of nerdy, punny cards! Each card is available in two formats: one (pdf) version that can be downloaded and printed and the other (jpg) version that can be digitally shared as a downloaded image or link.
Happy Valentine’s Day, explorers!
In this image, remotely operated vehicle Deep Discoverer explores a site dubbed “Hadal Ridge” at a depth of nearly 6,000 meters (19,685 feet) within the Mariana Trench during the 2016 Deepwater Exploration of the Marianas. Overall, the ocean is pretty deep; however, because the bottom of the ocean is not flat or uniform, water depths vary and it isn’t possible to give “one” depth for the whole ocean. We do know that the Mariana Trench is home to the deepest place in the ocean, Challenger Deep, which is 11,034 meters (36,201 feet) deep. That’s deep!
Remotely operated vehicle image courtesy of NOAA Ocean Exploration, 2016 Deepwater Exploration of the Marianas.
This brilliant red jellyfish (Crossota sp.) was found just off the seafloor during the Hidden Ocean Arctic 2005 expedition to explore the Chukchi Sea, Beaufort Sea, and Canada Basin. Being red in color is a common camouflage technique in the deep ocean. Because red light is quickly filtered from water as depth increases, it effectively never reaches ocean depths. A color must be present in the surrounding environment to be seen. This means that, in the absence of red wavelengths, a red animal at ocean depths is lacking color and essentially invisible.
Jellyfish image courtesy of Kevin Raskoff, California State University, Monterey Bay.
Get up close with a squat lobster! This one was seen during a Our Deepwater Backyard: Exploring Atlantic Canyons and Seamounts 2014 expedition dive on Physalia Seamount on October 1, 2014. At the time of the dive, Physalia was the last unexplored seamount on the East Coast inside of the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone.
While popular culture has suggested that lobsters mate for life, giving us the phrase, “you’re my lobster,” science has shown that this isn’t the case. On top of that, while they may look a lot like lobsters, squat lobsters are actually more closely related to hermit crabs. BUT, these animals are important members of the ocean ecosystem and ones that we encounter often during our deep dives, so it’s fun to include them in the Valentine’s mix!
Squat lobster image courtesy of NOAA Ocean Exploration, Exploring Atlantic Canyons and Seamounts 2014.
This incredible active hydrothermal vent was imaged for the first time during the 2016 Deepwater Exploration of the Marianas. It was 30 meters (98 feet) high. Hydrothermal vents often serve as “oases” of life in the deep ocean. This one was no exception, providing a home to many different animals, including shrimp, squat lobsters, crabs, limpets, mussels, and snails. And yes, it was gushing high-temperature fluid full of metal particulates!
Hydrothermal vent image courtesy of NOAA Ocean Exploration, 2016 Deepwater Exploration of the Marianas.
This baby warty octopod (Graneledone verrucosa) was seen making its way across the seafloor of Veatch Canyon during the Northeast U.S. Canyons Expedition 2013.
The plural of “octopus” is a frequent topic of discussion. While we use the common term “octopus” to cover a lot of animals in the deep ocean that belong to the order Octopoda, a *true* octopus belongs to the genus Octopus. So octopuses, octopodes, octopi...to be safe, we use octopods for our plurals. But no matter what, charismatic octopods have many interesting and unique characteristics, from their eight arms, three hearts, and blue blood to their high levels of intelligence.
Octopod image courtesy of NOAA Ocean Exploration, Northeast U.S. Canyons Expedition 2013.