6th Grade Individual Non-Fiction Author and Illustrator: MONICA CHENDI
The deep layer, or better known as the deep sea is one of the most complicated places on earth to explore. Due to the extremely harsh conditions with temperatures below 5℃, 1,086 bars of pressure, and not a glimpse of sunlight, deep-sea animals that live in these eccentric conditions have had to adapt to these states in order to survive and reproduce. It was only before the late 19th century that people thought the deep-seas environment was too harsh for any kind of life to survive there. Because of this, it was left nearly unexplored.
Although, in the early 1800’s, European scientists started to explore the North Atlantic to attempt finding living creatures in the deep-sea. This was around the time sea technology like diving suits and the first functioning submarine was created. The H.M.S challenger was commissioned to go one a world round voyage. For four years the 200-foot long warship was sent to explore the deep sea. It was a success, they found diverse animal life 1,000 fathoms or 1,8000m below the thermocline.
The Abyssal Plain is the deep seafloor. It's a cold and dark area roughly 3,000 to 6,000 feet below sea surface. It has been a hassle to find organisms living here because they were always inside burrows, but it was soon found out to be home to various species such as sea cucumbers, crabs, starfish, urchins, lobsters, and much more. Food down here is extremely scarce as the most available foods are bits of decaying foods from meters above. Less than five percent of the food made from above makes it down for creatures to eat.
The animals living in the deep-sea have adapted to their environment in many unique and odd ways. For example, Female Deep-Sea Anglerfish have dorsal spines that end with luminous bulbs that help them see in the dim brightness. On the other hand, male Deep-Sea Anglerfish instead have plain fleshy end parts that help them catch prey in the darkness. Their prey will be attracted to the flesh making them get just close enough for the Anglerfish to eat them.
Another animal that resides in the deep-sea is the Vampire Squid. The Vampire Squid inverts its cape like tentacles when startled, revealing a variety of large spines used to threaten and protect. Unlike an average octopus or a squid, Vampire Squids produce a colorless sticky substance that contains numerous bioluminescent or light-producing particles as plain black ink would do nothing in these conditions. The flashing lights confuse the predators giving the squid enough time to flee.