Planet Earth

Creatures of the Abyss

Photos from Claire Nouvian's new book, The Deep: The Extraordinary Creatures of the Abyss.

Newsletter

Sign up for our email newsletter for the latest science news
 
Photo Credits: (Courtesy of MBARI)

This 3-foot jellyfish uses four to seven strong tentacles to capture its prey but has no stinging cells. It is so different from other known jellyfish that scientists created a new subfamily for it.

Photo Credits: (Courtesy of the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute)

A cartoonish species of dumbo octopus found at depths ranging from 1,000 to 16,000 feet.

Photo Credits: (Courtesy of Kim Reisenbichler, MBARI)

A vampire squid from hell, which has assumed its defensive "pineapple posture" by throwing its arms over its head.

Photo Credits: (Courtesy of David Shale and Claire Nouvian)

A 20-inch glowing sucker octopus with fins that resemble elephant ears.

Photo Credits: (Courtesy of Rob Sherlock, MBARI)

This small squid can change color and hue from virtually glass-clear to reddish. The large reflective spot under the eye bioluminesces to cancel out their shadow and make them invisible to predators lurking below.

Photo Credits: (Courtesy of Marsh Youngbluth, Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institution)

A foot-long sea cucumber known as the deep-sea Spanish dancer. When the creature is attacked, its skin lights up and detaches, sticking to the aggressor.

Photo Credits: (Courtesy of MBARI)

Another deep-sea jellyfish.

Photo Credits: (Courtesy of MBARI)

Another little-known species of deep-sea dumbo octopus, the largest of which can reach 5-feet in length.

Photo Credits: (Courtesy of MBARI)

This bizarre-looking fish has large sensory pores around its mouth and lives more than 3,000 feet beneath the ocean surface.

Photo Credits: (Courtesy of MBARI)

Brightly colored 7-foot tube worms thrive near deep-sea hydrothermal vents and derive their energy from chemosynthetic bacteria.

Photo Credits: (Courtesy of Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institution)

The Johnson-Sea-Link submersible can dive 3,000 feet below the ocean surface offering panoramic views to its pilot and a paqssenger who sit within a clear acrylic sphere.

Photo Credits: (Courtesy of Peter David, Natural Visions)

A ghostly 3-inch-long deep-sea white anglerfish. The buttonline lure between its eyes bioluminesces to attract prey.

Photo Credits: (Courtesy of Dhugal John Lindsay, Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology)

A red paper lantern medusa jellyfish.

Photo Credits: (Courtesy of George I. Matsumoto, MBARI)

Almost completely transparent, this octopus drifts in the midwater waiting for prey.

1 free article left
Want More? Get unlimited access for as low as $1.99/month

Already a subscriber?

Register or Log In

1 free articleSubscribe
Magazine Examples
Want more?

Keep reading for as low as $1.99!

Subscribe

Already a subscriber?

Register or Log In

More From Discover
Recommendations From Our Store
Shop Now
Stay Curious
Join
Our List

Sign up for our weekly science updates.

 
Subscribe
To The Magazine

Save up to 70% off the cover price when you subscribe to Discover magazine.

Copyright © 2021 Kalmbach Media Co.