Way down in the deep blue sea, even at the planet's frigid poles, there is much more life than you might think. Astonishingly rich biodiversity, say deep-sea mariners just back with the latest research.
Carnivorous sponges. Ultra-deep crustaceans. A red octopus with wings on its head. More biodiversity than the Amazon rainforest and Great Barrier Reef combined.
Good thing, too. At the rate that shallower sea life is being destroyed, the deep sea just might be the locker of life than restores the planet one day.
This hour On Point: a journey into the ultra-deep seas, and the life they hold.
Dr Katrin Linse, marine biologist for the British Antarctic Survey. She is part of the "Antarctic Benthic Deep Sea Biodiversity Project" ( ANDEEP) which completed a survey of the Weddell Sea region of the Antarctic.;
Dr. Lisa Levin, professor of biological oceanography at the Scripps Oceanographic Institution.;
Tim Shank, associate scientist in the Biology Department at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution..;
Claire Nouvian, nature photographer and filmmaker. She is author of "The Deep: The Extraordinary Creatures of the Abyss" and curator of the exhibition "The Deep," currently open at the Paris Museum of Natural History.
This program aired on May 30, 2007.