Best of the Abyss 2007

BESTofabyss.jpgThe long awaited results…

Best New Discovery/Research (Heights of the Abyss Award): When it’s the deep sea its all new. 2007 was no different with more big discoveries and novel research than you can shake a stick at. The Judges! were more indecisive than the Democratic party on what to do about Iraq. The result is a wishy-washy, utopian, happy unicorns and rainbows, “we’re all winners” pile of links.

Humboldts Are Here and They Are Hungry
Jackelopterus rehnaniae
Corals In Acid
Sound Generated By Mid-Ocean Ridge Black Smoker
Lost Years For Sea Turtles Revealed

Best Conservation News: Umm…there was good conservation news? Surprisingly, yes. First, you made a difference twice! Just when I thought we couldn’t top 2006’s Donor’s Choose, along came 2007.

Readers Make A Difference (2006)

Readers Make A Difference (2007)

Out of 2007 came an increased awareness of the threat to deep-sea environments from bottom trawling. An initiative began among the Pacific Islands to ban trawling. In October, 20 countries agreed to restrict trawling until further study is conducted.

Good News From The South Pacific
Some Countries agree to end deep-sea bottom trawling

Worst Conservation News (The “Wish We Didn’t Need An Award For This” Award): One of The Judges! noted, “it’s a bit sad that this category was easier than the others.” Unfortunately, the destruction of the earth occurred in 2007, just like 2006 and will continue in 2008, bringing a tear to the eye of those who care.

Underwater Ticking Time Bomb & Munitions Dumping At Sea
Plastic Expanding Inevitable (Honorable Mention)
And the first cetacean to disappear as a result of human activity… (Honorable Mention)

With regard to the military confusing the ocean with a trash can one of The Judges! noted “I used to do a lot of work with the Mid-Atlantic sea scallop fishery, which would dredge over some of the most heavily-used disposal sites. We’d bring up old .50-caliber and artillery shells, luckily empty, as well as other miscellaneous equipment — I have one of the flight harnesses brought up on one trip hanging in my office right now. As those canisters and shells start leaking in the next decade, I fear that we’ll be in a world of hurt.” As if that’s not depressing enough another species is gone and plastic outnumbers plankton in the Central Pacific.

Most Rotten Tomato:

Underwater Ticking Time Bomb & Munitions Dumping At Sea
The Benefits of Seawater (Honorable Mention)
Hydrothermal Vents=Global Warming (Honorable Mention)

2007 saw a lot of Rotten Tomatoes. The military ultimately won out for dumping a bunch of really nasty stuff into the ocean. Top generals noted “Not my problem anymore!” Quinton’s Super Special Seawater and the internet buzz they tried to generate until DSN stopped them cold in their tracks also deserves the decaying fruit award. With regard to the last post, one of The Judges! noted this was worthy of another award “The Most Like Something I Said When I Was 6″ Award. Seems our judges told their friend’s mother that summer was hotter because magma came closer to the earth’s surface. “The truly funny part was that she believed me.” The same judge also nominated me for this post that presented something aweful/wonderful, “a riddle wrapped in a conundrum…” The brother of this judge also nominated this post for some reason and stated, “this only reinforced [my] belief that you would totally make out with Ballard if you were sure that no one would find out.”

Intersection of Art & Science: 2007 was a year for breaking stereotypes. Turns out scientists aren’t the socially-inept, Dungeon-and-Dragons-playing, well-behaved, uncreative and unartistic automatons you think we are. Sometimes we have tattoos (Octotat!) and turn crabs bad. Indeed, naughty arthropods inspired a hit song.

When Crabs Go Bad
Science Tattoos

Best “Deep-Sea” Book or Product:What can no deep-sea scientist, aspiring deep-sea scientist, or armchair deep-sea scientist go without? One judge noted that our post on Haggis-On-Whey’s….”Made me buy the book, best purchase of 2007 and the source for all of Zooillogix’s cephalopod knowledge.” If this is the case then stay with DSN for all your cephalopod information. 2007 also saw one of the best deep-sea books to hit the scene…ever! This year The Judges! also seemed to favor products that allowed them to transfer essential electronic files to and fro.
Books:
Haggis-On-Whey’s World of Unbelievable Brilliance: Animals of the Ocean, In Particular the Giant Squid (Note the posts was also nominated originally for funniest/best post and best book review)
The Deep (best book of 2007)
Flash Drives:
Field Rated Flash Drive
Big fin reef squid flash drive

Coolest Technology/Gear: If you want to do serious deep-sea science while enjoying a GnT on the promenade deck then a $78 million luxury sub is just what the doctor ordered (not a medical doctor, just me).

Proteus

Dr. M (1641 Posts)

Craig McClain is the Assistant Director of Science for the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center, created to facilitate research to address fundamental questions in evolutionary science. He has conducted deep-sea research for 11 years and published over 40 papers in the area. He has participated in dozens of expeditions taking him to the Antarctic and the most remote regions of the Pacific and Atlantic. Craig’s research focuses mainly on marine systems and particularly the biology of body size, biodiversity, and energy flow. He focuses often on deep-sea systems as a natural test of the consequences of energy limitation on biological systems. He is the author and chief editor of Deep-Sea News, a popular deep-sea themed blog, rated the number one ocean blog on the web and winner of numerous awards. Craig’s popular writing has been featured in Cosmos, Science Illustrated, American Scientist, Wired, Mental Floss, and the Open Lab: The Best Science Writing on the Web.





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