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Deep-Sea Observations with the Bathysphere

    Naturevolume 135page263 (1935) | Download Citation



    FOUR years ago, Dr. William Beebe and Mr. Otis Barton descended in their ‘bathysphere’—a steel ball fitted with quartz windows-to a depth of a quarter of a mile below the surface of the ocean off Bermuda. During the season of 1934 they successfully established a new depth record of 3,028 ft. In the National Geographic Magazine of December 1934 and the Bulletin of the New York Zoological Society of November-December 1934, interesting articles deal with the fitting-out, operation and scientific observations made, during these latest dives. Excellent photographs in the text provide a word picture of the undertaking, and a series of coloured plates give vivid impressions of the strange and bizarre forms of life as seen by Dr. Beebe through the windows of the ball and described over the telephone line between the bathysphere below and the parent ship at the surface. Three deep-sea fish, new to science, are described, including the five-lined constellation fish, Bathysiduspentagrammus, which Dr. Beebe speaks of as one of the most gorgeous deep-sea inhabitants he has ever seen. Five rows of photophores emitting yellow and purple light produced a beautiful pattern of illumination through the darkness. From this and other records, there can be little doubt as to the success and scientific value of this daring method of observa.

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