In between the sunlit shallows and the dark, deep ocean lies an inky realm where few people have ever been. Stretching from about 30 to 150 metres, the mesophotic zone (meaning “middle light”) is an awkward depth. It lies just beyond the reach of regular scuba divers and it’s usually what aquanauts inside multimillion-dollar submersibles merely glimpse as they plunge deeper.
However, a new generation of scientists is pushing the limits of diving to discover the secrets of this ecological zone. “There’s so much to see, and everything seems new,” says Erika Gress from James Cook University in Queensland, Australia. “It’s like a different world.”
To access the mesophotic zone, divers use equipment called rebreathers, which don’t exhale bubbles...Read More