Have you ever wanted to see deep sea creatures but just don’t have the funds to take a submarine down thousands of feet? Well now it will be possible for a few select creatures. Océanopolis is one of Europe’s largest aquariums and it is located in Brest, France.
Océanopolis has created a very unique solution to your deep sea diving woes. That solution is a high pressured 4.25 gallon tank called the AbyssBox that will allow these deep sea animals to survive at our level. The animals would not survive if they were brought into our atmospheric pressure.
Right now the only animals that inhabit the tank are shrimp and crabs like the S. mesatlantica that is pictured above taken from 6,000 feet below sea level. Almost all deep sea animals, if brought up from that depth will not be able to survive more than a few hours at or above sea level. The decompression on the way up to sea level messes up their cells and causes paralysis.
Bruce Shillito, the inventor of the AbyssBox and a biophysicist at the Université Pierre et Marie Curie in Paris has now devised a way to bring up animals from the lengthy depths to the AbyssBox without them even feeling the pressure change.
The AbyssBox is kept at 50 degrees Fahrenheit. On the bottom of the tank there is a line of water that is 86 degrees. This is to imitate a hydro thermal vent. The picture above is the way food is put into the tank without having to open the tank. Right now the crabs in the tank favor fresh blue mussels for their choice of food.
Photos: Vincent Fournier