Deep dive: Weird and wonderful new creatures and features of the deep sea

It’s the final frontier on Earth. The poorly explored deep seas, which make up much of our planet, have not

Updated on Jan 28, 2023 02:58 PM IST 5 Photos

Sheer delight: While out surveying the remote Phoenix Islands Archipelago, Schmidt Ocean Institute scientists captured rare footage of a “glass octopus”, named so because it is completely see-through. What one does see when one shines a light on it is its optic nerve, eyeballs, and digestive tract. Even though this species has been known to science since 1918, scientists were forced to study about this animal through specimens found in the guts of predators, before this sighting. (Schmidt Ocean Institute)

Code red: In 2022, researchers from the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) described a new species of deep-sea crown jelly called Atolla reynoldsi. Atolla have a signature scarlet colour, distinctive thorny projections, and tend to have one long, trailing tentacle. This species, spotted in 2006 in California’s Monterey Bay, does not have the characteristic trailing tentacle. DNA studies have now confirmed its position as a deep sea Atolla. (MBARI 2006)

All ears: In 2020, the deepest-dwelling octopus known was spotted at the bottom of the Indian Ocean. A species of Dumbo octopus with ear-like fins, belonging to the Grimpoteuthis and named after the Disney character, was found swimming at 6,957 metres. The previous record for lowest depth at which an octopus had been seen was 5,145 metres. This fresh sighting was made by marine biologist Alan Jamieson, using an underwater camera trap that settles on the seabed and photographs life as it swims and shuffles by. ( Atlantic Productions for Disney Channel)


Voldemort with fins: This faceless fish was picked up by the Sampling the Abyss voyage in 2017, at a depth of 4,000 metres. An international group of scientists went on a month-long deep-sea research voyage to explore marine life in the abyss off eastern Australia. At first, scientists thought this was a new species. A quick look at the history books revealed that Typhlonus nasus is one of the earliest-known deep-sea species, first discovered by the HMS Challenger, which undertook a landmark oceanographic survey in the 1870s.(Rob Zubaro / Museums Victoria)

Holy smoke: At the bottom of the Arctic Ocean, beneath the permanent sea ice near the North Pole, are hydrothermal vents letting out a super-heated soup from deep underground. The Aurora vent field, first detected about two decades ago, lies at the depth of 4,000 metres and was explored in detail by the HACON expedition in September-October 2021. Vents like these, which emit dark, smoke-like clouds of hot liquid (like underwater volcanoes), are called black smokers. While life is sparse in the deep seas, around such vents organisms have adapted to survive and thrive on the heat and chemicals such as methane and sulphur available. (HACON2021)




Artist Jitish Kallat's 10 most memorable works

Modus Vivendi (1000 people – 1000 Homes), 2000: In this self-portrait, a work of mixed media on canvas, Kallat appears as a swaggering, bespectacled juggler of heart and brain. The painting is an exploration of selfhood in the city of Mumbai, where he grew up and lives. The individual, lost in the multitudes, wanders in a state of perpetual disorientation, as reflected in the work. The radiating streaks of red, orange and green, reminiscent of thermal imagery, were achieved by texturing the canvas with layers of paint or canvas and then peeling off some parts to attain the desired visual effect.
Updated on Feb 02, 2023 10:41 PM IST

Photos: Expressions of ecological grief around the world

Herald / Harbinger is a permanent public art installation by Ben Rubin and Jer Thorp. It broadcasts the sounds of the Bow Glacier cracking and breaking 200 km away, to the centre of Calgary, one of Canada’s largest cities, almost in real time. The sounds and imagery shaped by data from a glacial observatory are broadcast through 16 speakers and seven LED arrays.
Updated on Dec 09, 2022 05:24 PM IST

Photos: Dive into the enchanting world of multiverse films

Everything Everywhere All At Once (2022): The movie explores the many dimensions of parenthood and love through the story of a Chinese-American immigrant named Evelyn Wang (played by Michelle Yeoh) who, while struggling to run a failing laundromat business, uses her newfound powers to travel across multiple realities to save the world and work on her strained relationships with her loved ones. It’s a family drama that’s fast-paced, funny and, above all, tackles earnestly the idea of healing from intergenerational trauma.
Published on Dec 02, 2022 01:29 PM IST

Photos: Celebrities who started off on reality shows

Harry Styles. He got a start in music by auditioning as a solo contestant on the British music competition series The X Factor in 2010.
Published on Nov 04, 2022 06:38 PM IST

Photos: Snapshots from staring at the Sun

At first sight: For centuries, sunspots were thought to be Mercury passing across the Sun. By the early 17th century, with the invention of the telescope, astronomers could get a clearer look. In 1610, Galileo Galilei (who first used the telescope to observe space) in Italy and his British contemporary Thomas Harriot identified these as spots on the Sun. Seen here are 35 drawings of sunspots created by Galileo between June 2 and July 8, 1612.
Published on Oct 20, 2022 04:13 PM IST

Photos: How archivists are helping preserve family legacies

Calcutta Houses was initially an Instagram page run by Manish Golder, Sidhartha Hajra and Sayan Dutta. They scoured the city and archived heritage homes, some dating to the early 1800s, others as recent as the Art Deco trend of the 1960s, many that would not be around much longer. Last year they got their first request to document in details a family home that they had featured on their page. Golder has now been commissioned to archive a 200-year-old ancestral home called Barrister Babur Bari (Barrister’s Home; seen here).
Published on Sep 29, 2022 09:33 PM IST