Results from Nekton Mission I – the XL Catlin Deep Ocean Survey confirms the discovery of a new zone in the ocean, the Rariphotic Zone (Rare Light Zone) from 130 meters to 300 meters. The Rariphotic Zone is the fourth zone confirmed in the top 3,000 meters of the ocean, each defined by distinct biological communities living at different depths.

The zones are the Altiphotic (0metres to 40metres), Mesophotic (40metres to 130metres), Rariphotic (130metres to 300metres) and Bathyal Zone (300metres to 3000metres).

Alex Rogers, Scientific Director of the Nekton Oxford Deep Ocean Research Institute (‘Nekton’) and Professor of Conservation Biology at the University of Oxford led the research and believes these discoveries could challenge our assumptions of the patterns of biodiversity of life, including the number of different species, in the ocean.

“If life in the shallower regions of the deep sea is so poorly documented it undermines confidence in our existing understanding of how the patterns of life change with depth,” says Professor Rogers.

Nekton Mission 1 – the XL Catlin Deep Ocean Survey – is a major scientific marine research expedition to investigate ocean function, health, and resilience across the Northwest Atlantic and focused on Bermuda. Laboratory analysis conducted by a network of scientists from across 15 different marine research institutes has revealed the discovery of over an estimated 100 new species including very small animals such as tanaids to dozens of new algae species and larger charismatic animals such as black wire coral that stand up to two metres high.

To watch the full film: Full Details of the Results from the Mission: