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The Deeper The Water The Uglier The Fish


Before becoming a meme, this gelatinous fish, blobfish, was only of scientific interest. In its natural environment, thousands of feet underwater, it does not resemble wet jello.

In this debut novel, Katya Apekina masterfully creates vivid characterization and drama through first-person accounts of sisters facing hardship.

Deeper Water

Deeper Water, Paul Kelly’s tenth album, begins with his childhood memories of being held aloft in his father’s strong arms while flying above the waves of the Indian Ocean. An arpeggio played on electric guitar morphs into a hymn-like chorus: “Deeper water, deeper water calling him on.” Tonight at Birchmere Theatre, Paul will perform this song similar to an iconic John Hiatt family number.

At the bottom of the ocean, creatures face immense pressures. At one spot, Mariana Trench, seafloor pressure can rise to 1.1kbar (8 tons per square inch), or about 1,100 times that at Earth’s surface. Therefore, marine organisms must adapt themselves to survive such hostile conditions.

Marine biologists have discovered that some deep ocean fish contain an isosmotic state-maintaining chemical called trimethylamine N-oxide that helps them cope with extreme pressure conditions. While exposed to high-pressure situations, samples from deep ocean dwellers showed higher concentrations of this compound, which are thought to help the fish cope by maintaining an isosmotic equilibrium with surrounding waters and maintaining the balance of body fluids and environmental pressures.

Postdoctoral researcher Christopher Martinez and his colleagues conducted a morphospace analysis using an innovative technique called Morphospace Analysis to organize 3033 species from deep ocean, shallow waters, and intermediate depths according to proportions such as jaw length and width. Scientists also measured head depth and width, tail length, depth and width of their “caudal peduncle,” the area where the tail fin attaches to the body, and body temperature. They discovered that deep ocean fishes display more diverse body shapes than shallow-water ones, from ultra-elongated to almost globular forms, suggesting the deep ocean may serve as a hotbed of evolution and diversification for fishes. Their findings appear in Ecology Letters.

Darker Water

The color of water depends on what’s reflected and absorbed by its surface. Light passes through water but gets absorbed at higher wavelengths (red and yellow), meaning redder tones cannot reach your eye as efficiently; blue wavelengths penetrate deeper, giving darker areas of the ocean the appearance of being bluer.

Too much sediment in the water can leave it looking murky or brown, usually due to river runoff, the resuspension of deposits from river bottoms or estuaries, or other causes like tannins from vegetation.

Filtration may help clear and lighten up the appearance of water. But occasionally, turbidity caused by algal blooms or organic material cannot be removed through filtering alone.

Water that appears muddy or brown often arises from natural events, such as upwelling. Upwelling occurs when warmer surface waters migrate out to sea and are replaced by cooler deeper waters – often due to windy conditions.

The color of water changes due to how it absorbs sunlight at different depths; higher wavelengths absorb light more strongly, so near-surface waters appear darker before becoming lighter as you progress further down into depths.

The color of the ocean can also vary based on where the sun sits in the sky, which impacts how much light is reflected off its surface. When sunlight falls low on the horizon, water may appear more orange or red than it would with higher sun angles overhead.

Dirty Water

Although ocean waters contain many beautiful fish species, there is also a darker side filled with monsters that are not so lovely. As practical fishkeeper and forum moderator Bob Mehen explains, many creatures found deep within its depths have evolved in response to pressure, darkness, and cold temperatures to become ugly creatures that lurk therein.

These bizarre ocean creatures feature gelatinous bodies to withstand the high pressures found at depths. They consume small ocean animals by sucking them up through their mouths; additionally, they possess a snout or nose and small, beady eyes for added eeriness.

The blobfish has an odd appearance that has made him an online phenomenon. After being selected as the World’s Ugliest Animal by the Ugly Animal Preservation Society poll, he quickly became popular and eventually appeared in cuddly toys and memes!

Dog-toothed characins are another highly repulsive species. Their teeth are found throughout tropical reefs in Asia and Africa, resembling those of saber-toothed tigers. Furthermore, these fish possess an unorthodox method for moving by using their fins to walk along reef surfaces; similar movements are used by certain gobies living on coral reefs.

The Ambon Scorpionfish is another unsightly fish in the Indian and Pacific oceans. With its flat head that looks like a mouth and jelly-like body, it often looks like coral or seaweed when seen underwater. These predators feed off of shellfish, crabs, seapen, and crustaceans.