Deep Ocean Waters

The abyssal zone of sea corresponds to the ocean space between 4000 and 6000 meters of depth. It is a dark area where sunlight is not able to reach. In marine biology, the term abyssopelagic wildlife refers to the description of a particular type of environment or natural habitat, inhabited by certain species of marine animals that swim freely and live or feed in the water at such depths and never approach the surface.

Deep Ocean WatersThe word abyssal comes from the word abyss, which is a dark deep place. This region is characterized by a cold environment, extremely high hydrostatic pressure, a certain lack of nutrients and total absence of light. Abyssal pits are formed when oceanic crust subducts under the continental crust with a slight angle which causes the rupture of the lithosphere and the formation of a pit. The abyssal fauna comprises of bizarre fishes with a monstrous like appearance.

There is an even deeper in the ocean level called hadal or “Hades”. In oceanography, the hadal zone refers to the waters and seabed below the abyssal zone, which corresponds to the deepest parts of the great ocean trenches, located below 6000 meters of depth. This region is characterized by a cold environment, extremely high hydrostatic pressure, lack of nutrients and total absence of light.

Hadal is a French word, meaning “place of death”, in reference to the Greek god of death, Hades and his dominions (Hell).

In 1960, Jacques Piccard and Don Walsh reached the Mariana Trench, the deepest ocean trench on Earth, and observed marine life. It is believed that most living species in this extreme environment that are able to survive the pressure equivalent to that of 1,100 Earth’s atmospheres, do so thanks to marine snow, falling from the upper levels of the sea, or because of chemical reactions surrounding the hydrothermal vents.

 

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