8 marine sightings from 2022 that remind us how amazing our oceans are | oceans

The oceans make up the vast majority of our planet’s surface and are home to up to a million different species. world oceans day is an opportunity to celebrate this amazing biodiversity and recognize the essential role that these vast expanses of water play in our lives. More than half of the world’s oxygen is produced by our oceans and at least three billion people depend on these fragile ecosystems for their livelihoods. Overexploitation, pollution, habitat destruction and climate change are among the greatest human-made threats facing the world’s oceans and June 8 is about addressing these challenges.

To celebrate the remarkable species that inhabit our brackish blue, we’ve put together a collection of some of our favorite ocean sightings and marine discoveries from this year.

New species of jelly

The Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) announced a remarkable discovery earlier this year: a new species of jelly. Atolla genus of deep-sea crown jellyfish, is commonly seen on ROV images taken in the depths of the ocean, but a brand new Atoll The species was discovered in Monterey Bay on the California coast and has only recently been described in the scientific literature.

Crown jellyfish are aptly named due to their circular cap shape and Atoll are a species of crowned jellyfish usually identified by a long trailing tentacle. This distinct “tail”, known as the hypertrophied tentacle, is, however, absent from the Atolla reynoldsi which has made it difficult for scientists to place the species.

Strawberry squid

The images below were captured 725 meters (2,378 feet) deep in the Monterey Canyon by one of MBARI Remote Operated Vehicles (ROV). Like many deep-dwelling creatures, the strawberry squid – which belongs to a clade of cephalopods known as the rooster-eyed squid – has developed unique characteristics that help it hunt and survive in dark waters. and deep. The incongruously sized left eye is adapted to spot shadows cast by potential prey in the dimly lit waters above, while the smaller right eye gazes down, searching for lightning of bioluminescence created by creatures lurking in the murky abyss.

Icefish nests

Deep-sea biologist Autun Purser and his team did not expect to make a significant scientific discovery when they dropped their specially designed camera into the freezing waters of Antarctica’s Weddell Sea. They were in the area to study ocean currents and carbon cycles and weren’t really scanning the depths for icefish nests. But, boy, did they find them.

The discovery, which was actually made last year but only made public in 2022, happened when the team tossed their camera into an unassuming piece of ocean and was instantly rewarded with the sight of a group of circular nests, many of which are guarded by an adult. ice fish. These nests were not new and had been documented before, but as the camera drifted, images of the stone-lined circles kept coming. “Such huge densities in one place were never envisioned,” Purser told us via email. For four hours, the team observed only fish nests. The shallow indentations, spaced about 25 centimeters (10 inches) apart, dotted the seabed in all directions and spanned an area the size of the United Kingdom. An estimated 60 million nests have been recorded, each with an average of 1,735 eggs cradled inside.

octopus blanket

Much of what we know about the blanket octopus comes from captive animals or long-expired museum specimens, but on very rare occasions these capped open-water crusaders make an appearance, as if to remind us that they are still there. Marine biologist and reef guide Hyacinth Shackleton was lucky enough to share the water with a blanket octopus recently off Lady Elliot Island on the Great Barrier Reef, and captured some stunning footage to prove it:

Tallfin Dragonfish

There was a lot of excitement among marine biologists at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) last month when one of the team’s remotely operated vehicles captured footage of a extremely rare deep-sea fish.

The high-end dragonfish, or Bathophilus flemingi if you prefer, has been seen swimming about 300 meters (980 feet) below the ocean surface off the coast of northern California. This striking fish has a distinct torpedo shape and an almost metallic bronze glow that intensifies under white light. Long wing-like filaments act like fins and are believed to pick up vibrations that help the fish hunt or avoid predators.

giant squid

Earlier this year, a live giant squid (Architeuthis dux) was found stranded on a shore of Ugu Beach in Obama, Japan. The little giant, measuring just over 3 meters (9ft) in length, is considered small for its kind compared to some of its larger sprawling friends who have been recorded to measure up to 18 meters (59ft) length.

Japanese authorities recognized right away that this was no ordinary seaside find, as these elusive creatures inhabit the depths of the ocean and have not been known to pop up for a visit. Their rare appearances and unfathomable size are attracting growing fascination among ocean researchers. The giant squid is a prime example of deep-sea gigantism, indicating that deep-sea creatures tend to grow much larger than those that inhabit shallow waters.

Extreme close up of tiger shark

It may be a controversial opinion, but the inside of a tiger shark’s mouth looks pretty snug (once you get past the teeth).

Filmmaker and conservationist based in Switzerland Zimy Da Kid captured this clip while filming in the Maldives when a curious tiger shark engulfed his 360-degree camera and bit her for a bit before spitting it out and swimming away. The resulting images offer a unique look at the shark’s teeth, throat and inner walls.

Double fools

Researchers aboard the Exploration Vessel (E/V) Nautilus – a research vessel currently on expeditions in and around the Pacific Outlying Islands Marine National Monument – were treated to a double dose of impressive dumbo octopus when they spotted two of these unique animals while directing a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) through the murky depths.


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