What I would give to be a deep sea creature just vibing and thriving right now. Obviously, deep sea critters surely come with their own anxieties and dangers. After all, this is an environment that’s also home to the Anglerfish, Finding Nemo’s spooky minor antagonist, and the eight-jawed Ophiojura. But a new video from Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI), gives a more serene look at deep sea life.
Between the music and the lush, relaxed movement in each scene, this minute-long video couldn’t be more soothing if it tried. MBARI collaborated with DeepSea Power & Light to capture the footage in 4K. MBARI uses remotely operated vehicles to capture its underwater footage, which per the video’s description, amounts to thousands of hours worth of footage. (That number isn’t remotely surprising as its YouTube channel is chock full of dazzling deep sea footage.) The MBARI researchers use said footage to study one of most mysterious places on Earth.
The video captures four slices of life in the deep sea. First up is the deepest footage captured, at 1,084 meters—a.k.a. 3,556 feet. We see Paragorgia arborea, which is more commonly referred to as bubblegum coral. Due to its vibrant pink hue and gum-like texture. Handfuls of crinoids perched in its midst, ebbing and flowing as if there’s a deep sea breeze. The section interesting sea habitat lives just a fraction closer—39 feet to be specific—to the surface. Careproctus melanurus, a.k.a. the blacktail snailfish scopes out Chionoecetes tanneri, otherwise known as grooved tanner crab. Before, of course, settling back in around mushroom soft coral (Heteropolypus ritteri).
My favorite of the bunch is Pandea rubra, aka the red paper lantern jelly. In the footage, captured at 665 meters (2,182 feet), this creature is purely “no stress, just vibes.” It’s just floating peacefully. Fifteen seconds of pure bliss. So it’s a little jolting to end on the longfin dragonfish (Tactostoma macropus), who slithered in front of MBARI’s camera at 909 meters in the ocean.
But that might be a little judgmental on my end. After all, I have never met a longfin dragonfish. Was just a little started by the manner in which it quickly snapped to attention. But who knows, the way he glides onto frame, is almost as if to say, “Here’s a little serotonin boost, as a treat.” It is winter and a Wednesday after all. We’ll take what we can get!