Strangeness In The Deep

22.8.2012
Words by Paul Fontaine
A photographer has brought back some astonishing photos from the bottom of the sea near Iceland's coast, with some pictures taken at a depth of over 700 metres.

Iceland's territorial waters, extending some 200 miles from the coast, can reach depths of three kilometres or more. The areas further from the coast tend to be the deepest, with some exceptions. While the bottom has been surveyed, very little of this territory has been photographed.

Undersea photographer Bjarni Sæmundsson has taken pictures at 15 different locations at the bottom of a region known as Háfadjúp, located east of the Westman Icelands.

Even this close to the coast, these photographs were taken at depths ranging from 110 to 730 metres. As can be seen in this RÚV article, there are some forms of ocean life very close by that are not normally associated with Iceland, including rare black coral, bluemouth rockfish, rabbit fish, blue lings, and a yet unknown spring-shaped worm (fourth photo down).

Unfortunately, marine life was not the only thing found at the bottom of the ocean - human trash such as plastic bags and build material was discovered lying at the sea floor at depths of 500 metres or more.

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