Only 200 meters under the surface of the sea is a fascinating, almost unknown, dark habitat: the deep sea. It is the largest habitat on our planet – the deep sea floor under 1,000 meters of water covers 62.3 per cent of the earth’s surface. By comparison, all the continents taken together account for a mere 30 per cent. Nevertheless, only a fraction of this gigantic region has been explored so far: all the explored areas of the deep sea add up to just five square kilometers. Professor Michael Türkay, Head of the Marine Zoology department and the Crustacea Section and Deputy Director of the Senckenberg Society for Natural Research, explains why deep sea research is so fascinating and challenging.
Professor Türkay, why was the exhibition so popular?
The show brought home to the public that the deep sea is one of our last horizons. People were very keen to find out about this totally unknown and mysterious world. Fascination with technology was another major success factor. We were able to show how modern technology suddenly opens the door to a whole new world: we can now go down into the deep sea and take samples and perform experiments there. Harnessing today’s transponder and location technology, we can find specific locations in the gigantic ocean again to an accuracy of a meter.