Oceanography The Official Magazine of
The Oceanography Society
Volume 19 Issue 01

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Volume 19, No. 1
Pages 10 - 13


The Red Light District | Unexpected Catch | Once Mountain Ice, Now Cold Seawater | Dark Energy

Cheryl Lyn Dybas | Oceanography Contributing Writer

First Paragraph

The Red Light District

The red light district is located not on a seedy side street in a major city, but, oceanographers have discovered, in the deep sea. Animals that live in the sea's abyss produce and perceive red light, contrary to what was the prevailing view among marine biologists: that most deep-sea animals can't detect red light at all. Research by Steven Haddock of the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) and colleagues Bruce Robison and Kim Reisenbichler, as well as Edie Widder, formerly of Florida's Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institution and now of the Ocean Research and Conservation Association in Fort Pierce, Florida, shows that some deep-sea fishes not only see red light, but use it in locating prey.

Unexpected Catch: New England Intertidal Zone Serves Up Unexpected Catch

Q: Why did the barnacle settle on ice?
A: To establish a population where few other species could succeed. (Or might want to.)

As biological oceanographer Jesús Pineda of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and his colleagues discovered, living on sea ice is no joke for barnacles of the speciesSemibalanus balanoides. Like anywhere on a crowded planet, the key to happy homeownership is location, location, location.

Once Mountain Ice, Now Cold Seawater: Historical Comparison of Alaska's Glaciers Shows Their Rapid Disappearance

Glacier Bay, Alaska, soon may be hard to find—if you're looking for its namesake glacier. Historical photographs of Glacier Bay, taken as early as the mid-1880s, are being used to compare the extent of the bay's glacier then, to its extent now. The news for Alaska's glaciers, said marine geologist Bruce Molnia of the U.S. Geological Survey in Reston, Virginia, is not good. "Alaska has about 2,000 glaciers, some 700 of which are named," said Molnia. "Fewer than 20 are still advancing."

Dark Energy: Life Beneath the Ocean Floor Points the Way to Outer Space

"Who in his wildest dreams could have imagined that, beneath the crust of our earth, there could exist a real ocean...a sea that has given shelter to species unknown?" So wrote Jules Verne in A Journey to the Center of the Earth. Indeed, as Verne suspected, life exists under the ocean floor, although perhaps not quite at the center of the earth. Scientists like Steven D'Hondt of the University of Rhode Island Graduate School of Oceanography and his colleagues have found microbes in deep, dark sediments under the seas.


Dybas, C.L. 2006. Ripple marks—The story behind the story. Oceanography 19(1):10–13, https://doi.org/10.5670/oceanog.2006.101.

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