Deep Sea Hall

Enter the twilight of the Deep Sea Hall, see bizarre sea creatures and learn about the specifics of the deep-sea biosphere. Who would have thought that a dead whale sunken to the bottom of the sea can serve as an energy source for deep sea sharks, hagfish and giant isopods for up to 60 years? Watch the unique life-size model of a vampire squid and other exciting exhibits at MEERESMUSEUM’s new Deep Sea Hall.

The vampire squid, also Vampyroteuthis infernalis, lives at depths of up to 1,000 metres. Its name literally translates to “vampire squid of hell”. Stretching the webbing of skin between its eight arms makes the squid look like wearing a cloak which combined with the animal’s dark colour and red eyes gives the vampire squid its name, though it does not feed on blood. Enemies may be dazed by quick luminous barrages with clouds of bioluminescent “ink”.

Sunlight barely reaches the deep sea. However, it is not completely dark. There is flashing, sparkling and gleaming everywhere. Animals allure prey, deceive would-be predators or communicate with fellow species by light. Many organisms produce light with luminescent organs. In some species, luminescent bacteria produce particularly bright light.

Like oases in the desert, dead whales sunken to the sea bottom provide decades of food and living space for over 200 species. First, sharks, hagfish and crabs find the carcass attracted by the stench of decay. Isopods and snails follow. Finally, shells, worms and bacteria exploit and degrade the bone fat.