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Synopsis

An illustrated look at the weird and wonderful creatures that live in the very deepest parts of the sea.

Humans have always wondered, with a mixture of fear and fascination, what lurks beneath the surface in the depths of the ocean. In this book, Erich Hoyt introduces 50 of the oddest creatures you will ever meet in the sea. From the carnivorous comb jelly to the lantern-carrying deep-sea dragonfish, from a vampire squid with giant eyes to dancing jellyfish, Hoyt explores these peculiar conditions and their equally peculiar environment.

These creatures have adapted to lack of light and, using sound pulses (echolocation) or light-producing organs and pigment cells (emitting light via bioluminescence), they are able to communicate without giving their location away to predators.

These stunning, captivating photographs weren't taken from the portholes of submarines. Photographers David Shale, Solvin Zanki and Jeff Rotman worked with oceanography institutes, museums and the BBC Natural History Unit, taking long cruises across the ocean to record and try to understand these little-studied residents of the deep sea. To capture the creatures for observation, a net was lowered far beneath the surface. As soon as the trawl was hauled aboard, the photographers would race to transfer the most unusual animals to fresh seawater aquariums in a chilled laboratory on board.

These pages let readers gaze into strange, wild eyes and study faces with toothless or crooked smiles that witness the fruits of deep-sea evolution. Informative captions explain what the patterns of lights on their bodies are "saying" to others in their absolutely dark world. The wonder and extraordinary weirdness of what lives in the deep seas, so far away from us and yet so close, will become more familiar with this book.

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