On the Air: June 28, 2015
A snail fish in the Canada Basin at roughly 6000 feet water depth. Credit: Bodil Bluhm, University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) and Ian MacDonald, Texas A&M University, Corpus Christi

More than five miles below the surface of the Pacific Ocean, the temperature is near freezing, there’s no sunlight, and the pressure is more than five tons per square inch. Yet that forbidding zone is home to the deepest fish yet seen — a tadpole-shaped creature known as a snailfish.

In Print: June 1, 2015
A golden crab with a group of Venus flower basket glass sponges. Credit: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

The white vase-like sea sponge known as the Venus flower basket would seem incredibly fragile since it’s made of silica, the main ingredient of glass. Further, the only thing keeping this glass sponge anchored to the sea floor is a tuft of tiny glass structures called spicules, each about the thickness of a human hair.