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The water column is the largest, yet one of the most underexplored, habitats on the planet. With the full volume of the water column available to move freely about in all dimensions, midwater animals may seem sparse, but in fact, the water column also holds a much greater biomass than the seafloor. While the majority of our dives focus on surveying the seafloor to understand the habitat and life there, we are beginning to apply tools and technologies to learn about the abundant life that lives between the sea surface and the seafloor. From gelatinous animals such as jellies and siphonophores to fish and squid, the organisms that live in the water column are an essential link in the marine ecosystem.
Video courtesy of the NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research.
For more on the water column, visit: https://oceanexplorer.noaa.gov/image-gallery/welcome.html?cat9.