The Dark Ocean
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The average depth of the world’s ocean is about 13,000 ft (4,000 m). In the deep sea, no sunlight penetrates from above. It is pitch black, under immense pressure from the weight of all of the water above, and persistently cold – always within the range of 36° F to 39°F (- 2°C to 4°C). The animals that thrive here have special adaptations that allow them to find prey and avoid predators. Visit the dark ocean for yourself; experience the cold temperature, see the effects of the intense pressure and view some of the amazing bioluminescent light patterns created by creatures that live in total darkness.

Other things you’ll discover:

  • Different wavelengths of sunlight penetrate to different depths in the ocean. Red light is filtered out first, and blue light is filtered out last, so between
    660 ft (200 m) and 3,300 ft (1,000 m) there is only a dim blue twilight.
  • The creatures of the deep live in an environment under extreme pressure – at 13,000 feet, the pressure that would amount to feeling as if a full-grown horse was standing on your thumbnail!
  • Enter the Bioluminescence Theater and see how the majority of deep-sea creatures create their own light to help them find prey, avoid their predators or find a mate.
  • Go back in time! Explore a timeline of deep-ocean exploration, including major expeditions, discoveries and scientific thinking, spanning from the mid-1800s to the present day.