The Jacuzzi Of Despair Is A Deadly Lake Within The Gulf Of Mexico

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The Jacuzzi Of Despair Is A Deadly Lake Within The Gulf Of Mexico

A jacuzzi is the picture of warm, bubbling, soothing relaxation. It's a luxury. But tweak the scene to make those steamy bubbles full of methane and that hot, clear water a thick, briney stew and you have yourself the "jacuzzi of despair." This underwater brine pool in the Gulf of Mexico is no vacation spot—it's a toxic pocket of seawater that will certainly kill anything that swims into it. Hopefully we didn't just ruin jacuzzis for you...

The Ghost Octopus Is A Pigment-less, Gelatinous Creature

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The Ghost Octopus Is A Pigment-less, Gelatinous Creature

Scientists found a new species of octopus in February of 2016 off the Hawaiian archipelago, and it's unique for a few reasons. They observed the ghost octopus swimming slowly at about 2.6 miles (4.3 kilometers) deep, much lower than any other octopod (a group of invertebrates that includes octopuses) without fins has even been seen. Other unique features of the octopus: it completely lacks pigment, giving it a very ghost-like appearance, hence the name. And because there's little food in the deep sea, and it takes a lot of energy to build muscles, the ghost octopus has a gelatinous consistency.

Giant Isopods, The Ocean's Super-Sized Roly Polies

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Giant Isopods, The Ocean's Super-Sized Roly Polies

Like their terrestrial pill bug cousins, giant isopods are crustaceans. However, unlike roly polies, they live in the deep sea and can grow to be the size of a cat. They're often seen feasting on the remains of dead animals that have settled on the ocean floor.

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from EVNautilus

Key Facts to Know

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    Giant isopods are crustaceans that are related to terrestrial pill bugs ("roly polies"). 0:20

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    Like many other crustaceans, giant isopods have hard exoskeletons. 0:31

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    See how an ROV can measure a giant isopod using laser dots: 0:45

Extremophiles Live Where Most Things Can't

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Extremophiles Live Where Most Things Can't

Extremophiles thrive in environments that humans deem "extreme," from lakes with high salt concentrations to deep-sea vents. They produce enzymes called "extremozymes" that help them to survive in these conditions. Specialized groups of extremophiles have different names; an acidophile, for example, is an organism that experiences optimal growth in an acidic pH, whereas a hypolith is an organism that lives beneath rocks in cold deserts.

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Key Facts to Know

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    Extremophiles are organisms that thrive in conditions that seem hostile to life. 0:17

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    Extremophiles could potentially teach scientists about alien species. 2:06

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    NASA scientist Richard Hoover has tried to find evidence of extremophile-like organisms inside carbonaceous meteorites. 3:13

Carnivorous Sponges: The Venus Flytraps Of The Sea

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Carnivorous Sponges: The Venus Flytraps Of The Sea

Carnivorous sponges typically live in the deep sea. Unlike other sponges, they aren't filter-feeders, and instead feed on the unfortunate crustaceans that become caught on their velcro-like hooks. The sponges don't have a stomach or digestive system, so they slowly eat their prey at the cellular level: individual cells travel to, cover, and digest their catches. There are more than 100 species of carnivorous sponge known to science.

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from MBARI

Key Facts to Know

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    Sponges typically feed on bacteria and single-celled organisms that they sift out of water currents. 0:26

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    The individual cells of carnivorous sponges engulf and digest caught prey. 1:03

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    Carnivorous sponges have probably been around for about 200 million years. 3:15