Calling all thalassophiles! Here we present to you a stunningly comprehensive interactive deep sea visualization that shows you the creatures whom reside at nearly every depth in the ocean, all the way down to the deepest point ever discovered. The interactive visualization, created by self-described “creative coder” Neal Agarwal, is rich with the bizarre jellyfish, octopi, and giant squid we’ve come to expect from Davy Jones’s otherworldly pet store, but seeing them all in one spot organized by where they live casts Earth’s grand aquatic ecosystem in a whole new light.
Introducing The Deep Sea – an interactive visualization of the ocean ?
Grab some popcorn, it’s a long ride!
— Neal Agarwal (@nealagarwal) December 2, 2019
Agarwal, who’s created numerous other entertaining interactive pages—like this one showcasing the size of space or this one demoing just how hard it’d be to spend all of Bill Gates’ money—turned his creative-coder mind toward the deep sea this time around because, why not, apparently. Seriously though, neither his Twitter account nor his own site discusses the impetus for focusing on the deep sea with this latest interactive display, but he does note that it was made with love and based on all of its myriad details, that is unquestionably true.
With each swipe of the trackpad (or whatever other means of scrolling one’s using), viewers are treated to a different handful of alien sea-dwellers that include everything from giant isopods to barreleye fish to squidworms. Although fair warning to those with thalassophobia: The deeper you go, the more surreal, disturbing, and nightmarish the creatures generally become. There are some caveats, however, like the Comb Jelly, which is astonishingly beautiful.
So excited to share something I’ve been working on!
Introducing The Size of Space – an interactive visualization of the scale of the universe ?
— Neal Agarwal (@nealagarwal) October 27, 2019
Scrolling at normal speeds, the interactive visualization takes a few minutes to work through, but that just makes it all the more rewarding when the deepest known part of the ocean floor is finally reached. Speaking of which, Agarwal’s visualization notes that that deepest known part, Challenger Deep in the Mariana Trench, was first explored in 1960 by Jacques Piccard and Don Walsh. Which is somewhat incidental to anybody just looking to have their minds blown by weird sea creatures, but still mightily impressive. Just think about this: 60 years ago we had the technology to actually visit the Mariana Trench, but not make this kind of detailed, interactive visualization.
We couldn’t find any hint of what kind of visualizations Agarwal is going to release next, but there was only a little more than a month’s time between this visualization and the last one he put out prior to it. Hopefully that means we’ll be seeing a new one sometime in January. Perhaps for the new year, the creative coder will do something on the microscopic scale—one of the few places on Earth where the creatures are just as strange as the ones in the deep sea.
What do you think about this interactive deep sea visualization? Did Agarwal leave out any of your favorite weird ocean-dwelling creatures, or did you not even bother scrolling all the way down due to the freak factor of these funky, little fish faces? Delve as deep as you can into your opinions in the comments!
Images: Neal Agarwal