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Deep sea

The deep sea or deep layer is the lowest layer in the ocean, existing below the thermocline and above the seabed, at a depth of 1000 fathoms (1800 m) or more. Little or no light penetrates this part of the ocean, and most of the organisms that live there rely for subsistence on falling organic matter produced in the photic zone. For this reason, scientists once assumed that life would be sparse in the deep ocean, but virtually every probe has revealed that, on the contrary, life is abundant in the deep ocean.

From the time of Pliny until the late nineteenth century...humans believed there was no life in the deep. It took a historic expedition in the ship Challenger between 1872 and 1876 to prove Pliny wrong; its deep-sea dredges and trawls brought up living things from all depths that could be reached. Yet even in the twentieth century scientists continued to imagine that life at great depth was insubstantial, or somehow inconsequential. The eternal dark, the almost inconceivable pressure, and the extreme cold that exist below one thousand meters were, they thought, so forbidding as to have all but extinguished life. The reverse is in fact true....(Below 200 meters) lies the largest habitat on earth.

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A lot of deep sea fish use bioluminescence. There's a thin fish called a Hatchet fish that has reflective sides and uses bioluminescence on it's bottom. The Hatchet fish is practically invisible because its reflective surfaces allow it to blend in with the water and while looking at it below would normally show a silhouette against the faint sunlight, the Hatchet fish's bioluminescence mocks the color of the sun coming throw the water and hides it from any fish below.

Contributed by Franny Matassa

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