Biology, Reviews

Deep Sea Doubleheader

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The May 20th Boston Globe featured a review of not one, but two new books celebrating the “breathtaking diversity of life” inhabiting the earth’s deep oceans. Reviewer Anthony Doerr writes:

Two new books from the University of Chicago should help forever banish the paradigm of the lifeless deep. Tony Koslow’s The Silent Deep is an illustrated survey of deep-sea ecology, deeply informed by history and rendered in straightforward, careful prose. Claire Nouvian’s The Deep is a big, glossy book of deep-water photographs, punctuated with short essays by 15 leading oceanographers. (Koslow has an essay in Nouvian’s book. )
The two books present earth’s biggest, strangest ecosystem with reverence and wonder. Koslow tells the stories of deep-sea pioneers like Wyville Thomson and William Beebe; tours us past hydrothermal vents, underwater mountains, and whale falls; and laments the destruction of deep-water habitats caused by mining, pollution, and bottom trawling.

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Nouvian’s The Deep features more than 200 color portraits of the planet’s least-known creatures: sparkling pink octopi like floating lanterns; iridescent squid with corkscrew tails; predatory fish with hooded eyes and translucent teeth looming in the darkness. Some of these are the first-ever photographs of certain organisms. At least eight of the pictures feature animals so unknown that Nouvian’s captions list them as “unidentified.”

Exploring the unusual life in one of the darkest and most mysterious environments on earth, these complementary volumes definitely make for some very cool summer reading.
See our special website to preview some of the astonishing color images from The Deep and read an interview with the author.