In the April of 2022 the Monterey Bay Aquarium (MBA) opened a new deep sea exhibit called Into the Deep: Exploring Our Undiscovered Ocean. “From football-sized giant isopods to transparent jellies that glow, the deep sea is brimming with life. Meet the mysterious and wonderful animals that thrive in the dark, cold — and mostly unexplored — world of the deep sea.”
This remarkable exhibit took years to develop as it is extremely difficult to keep most of these deep sea creatures alive in captivity. Staff at MBA developed both new collection methods and techniques for animal care along with the help of their colleagues at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI). There was no other institution to look to for advice. Read our interview with a Curator of Fish and Invertebrates at MBA about the unprecedented effort.
The complicated water system for the deep sea exhibit
Research and trial and error went into creating life support systems that can maintain animals from such an alien environment. The system takes seawater pumped from the bay and removes oxygen, changes its chemistry and chills it to frigid temperatures.
In addition to the live animals in the exhibit, you can see the stunning images of deep sea animals filmed by MBARI cameras on Remotely Operated Vehicles like those in this video.
The exhibit opened April 9, so head to Monterey if you can.