Excellent thread! I love stuff like this. The photos and vids are great--I love how deep-sea life has such a high weirdness factor. And yeah, the
little octo-thingie everyone thinks is so adorable rates very high on the weirdness chart(it looks like a plushie and even has the 'fake' eye
As I read through all the responses, I noticed the "why do we know more about outer space than our own oceans?" question was brought up. I have
some thoughts of my own on this.
First I would say, "space" is mostly empty space, and wherever it is not empty space, some of the stuff filling it up has a tendency to coalesce
into stars, which then conveniently light up all the stuff that didn't turn into stars. So we know a lot about space(or the stuff in space) because
we can see
lots of it simply by walking outside at night and looking up. It also greatly simplified the engineering problems involved in
building tools to study space. The tools merely needed to 1) Sit relatively still, and 2) Help you look at space.
The oceans only let us see their surfaces, for the most part. Even when the water is very clear, diffraction will not allow the passage of enough
visible light to illuminate the really interesting parts. A great deal of our deep-sea knowledge comes from sonar or radar, both of which are a
method of 'looking' at things by sending out a signal, then analyzing the returning echoes--a difficult task even when you know what your signal is
bouncing off of.
The second major difference is the change in environment. Air pressure at sea-level is approximately 15psi. Air pressure in space is approximately
0psi. Not a large difference. Average pressure at the bottom of the Marianas Trench is approximately
. Rather a large difference.
So even though the bottoms of our oceans are much closer than even low-earth-orbit space in terms of distance, they are much, much farther away in
terms of pressure difference. Any of the myriad successful vehicles the human race has launched into space, if subjected to the pressures of the
ocean depths, would crumple into a little tiny ball of fail. Our materials technology, metallurgy, and structural science has needed time to advance
in order to tackle the pressure problem.
There's my two cents on that subject.
Now, back to the awesome photos posted in this thread...I've never seen most of these! I knew about the anglers, and the dragonfish. The rest are
totally new to me. This gives me a chance to show off what I've learned about analyzing weird photos on ATS:
This is actually a super-secret NASA image that was mistakenly filed with NUMA(National Underwater and Marine Agency). It is one of a series of
images taken by an automated probe sent to Venus. This is what the probe saw as it began to swing around to the far side of Venus, which we never see
from earth...and now we know why!! It's not a planet, its a....well it's not a planet!!! (if you think this is not a space pic, look again...those
are STARS in the bg)
I could make this in Photoshop in 5 minutes. Nice try.
So I'm supposed to believe that somebody spent millions of dollars building a contraption to take them to a place where the environment is so extreme
that the slightest flaw in the equipment would mean instant death, and as proof of the trip they show us a very clear photo of what they claim is an
unknown life form(a life form that bears a striking resemblance to a certain type of plushie toy, btw). The background of the pic is solid black.
The explanation given for this is that "it's very dark down there." Ok, then how did they find this thing if it's so dark, 20cm is not very big.
Also, it's dark in my room at night when the lights are out, but my cheap digital camera manages to pick up lots of bg details with its little
Occam's Razor says: This is actually a doctored pic of a plushie toy, no human has ever been to the bottom of the Mariana Trench, this whole thing
is a hoax.
Psshh. These are obviously chinese lanterns
That was fun.