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Abyssal Zone

Tour Guide Tim

All about the Abyssal Zones

The ocean habitat, pelagic habitat, is made of 3 zones. The surface of the ocean to about 100m down is the euphotic zone. There is enough light there to support plankton. The next zone down is the bathyal zone. This zone gets little or no light. The deepest part of the ocean is the abyssal zone. The abyssal zone can go down to 6000m and more. In the abyssal zone the pressure is so great that it would turn you into a smooth paste. At just 1100m deep the pressure would feel like 12 000kg pushing on every square centimeter of your body. Because no light reaches the abyssal zone the temperature generally remains the same throughout the year. It can be anywhere from 0˚C to 5˚C. It maybe cold but the temperature never drops below 0˚C and the water is never frozen. An abyssal storm is unpredictable but generally happens every 2 or 3months. They are important because the wind blows iron rich sediment to feed the abyssal sea-life. The rugged territory in the abyssal zone is made up of very tall mountains. Some have sharp peaks others are flat topped. These mountains form an undersea mountain range that covers all the world’s ocean floors. The crust on the ocean floor is not solid. It is made up of moving tectonic plates that slide past each other during volcanic eruptions. Minerals that leech from the magma settle on the sea floor provide a rich environment for the abyssal sea life. The microorganisms feed on the nutrient rich water.


Who, What, When, Where and Why

Who can visit the abyssal zone?
Anyone who is interested and willing can join Tour Guide Tim in touring the abyssal zone.

What activities can I do in the abyssal zone?
There are not many activities you can do in the abyssal zone because if you live the submarine you’ll die. However, one activity we do offer is a chance to ride in the first ship that people used to reach the bottom of the ocean. The ship is a metal hollow ball attached by a metal cable. It is called a bathysphere. It has three very thick windows and can hold two people, a telephone, lights, and a device that can absorb carbon dioxide (so you don’t suffocate). William Beebe and Otis Barton first used it in 1931. The deepest you will go, is 700m, for safety reasons, but Beebe and Barton made it to 923m.

When is the best time to visit the abyssal zone?
There is no sunlight in the abyssal zone; therefore, the temperature remains constant throughout most of the year. This means that the best time to go is anytime.

Where are the abyssal zones?
Abyssal zones are located over the entire earth. There are found under most parts of the deep ocean. One area in particular that we will visit is the Marianas Trench in the pacific. This trench is 11 000m deep. Some of the earth’s tallest mountains could get “lost” in there.

Why should I visit the abyssal zone?
Visiting the abyssal zone is one of the most amazing experiences you can have. You will see and experience things that you didn’t even know were possible. This tour is a must for anyone and everyone.