+

Back in 2016, this is what we saw on the ocean floor.

‌Image courtesy of NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research, 2016 Deepwater Exploration of the Marianas.

It was found by this little dude:


Image courtesy of the NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research, 2017 American Samoa.

That's the Deep Discovererremotely operated vehicle, or ROV, that lives on the Okeanos Explorer, a NOAA research ship that studies the oceans and climate change. The ship's expedition last year to the Mariana Islands revealed an unfortunate sight — beer cans, plastic bags, and other man-made trash littering the sea floor.

This year, the ship's gone out again. The good news: So far, none of its daily updates has included cans of processed meat.

Instead, its deepwater dives off the coast of American Samoa and various marine protected areas have revealed an amazing menagerie of ocean critters.

1. Creatures like this long-armed squid photographed off the coast of Swains Island.

‌Image courtesy of the NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research, Discovering the Deep: Exploring Remote Pacific MPAs.‌

2. This might look like a bit of rubbish, but trust me, it's a barrel sponge and it's very much alive.

Image courtesy of the NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research, Discovering the Deep: Exploring Remote Pacific MPAs.

It fell over though. Oh, pathos!

3. A pair of sixgill sharks out for a swim together.‌

Image courtesy of the NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research, Discovering the Deep: Exploring Remote Pacific MPAs.‌

4. A little oreo fish!

Image courtesy of the NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research, Discovering the Deep: Exploring Remote Pacific MPAs.

Unfortunately (fortunately?) they don't have anything to do with the cookies. Their scientific genus Oreosoma means "mountain body." They got the name because of all their little spikes.

5. But the ocean's much stranger than a fish whose name sounds like a cookie. Check out this ridiculous crinoid.

Image courtesy of the NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research, Discovering the Deep: Exploring Remote Pacific MPAs.

Though it might look like the worst bouquet ever, crinoids are, in fact, animals related to starfish.

6. Or this shrimp hiding in a glass sponge.

Image courtesy of the NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research, Discovering the Deep: Exploring Remote Pacific MPAs.

It looks like the cover art of a science-fiction novel.

7. Ever seen an octopus egg case?

Image courtesy of the NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research, Discovering the Deep: Exploring Remote Pacific MPAs.

The brown sac is the outer case, while the purple dangly bit is what's known as the chorion and hides the embryo.

8. Maybe it'll grow up to look like this magnificent specimen.

Image courtesy of the NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research, Discovering the Deep: Exploring Remote Pacific MPAs.

The rare Grimpoteuthis, also known as the Dumbo octopus, uses the flaps on the side of it's head to swim through the water.

9. Or check out this ... what is this? A sea cucumber? Jerry, is this a sea cucumber?

Image courtesy of the NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research, Discovering the Deep: Exploring Remote Pacific MPAs.

Jerry says it is and belongs to the Psychropotesgenus. Thanks, Jerry!

10. Not all sea cucumbers look like God's rough drafts though. Check out this elegant swimmer.

Image courtesy of the NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research, Discovering the Deep: Exploring Remote Pacific MPAs.

This little one will likely spend it's entire life swimming around, catching food from the currents.

11. Scientists couldn't decide whether these crabs were fighting or flirting.

Image courtesy of the NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research, Discovering the Deep: Exploring Remote Pacific MPAs.

Spotted nearly 2,500 feet below the surface, this hand-holding could be either premating behavior or aggression.

12. This shrimp was definitely guilty of murder though. It was a murdering shrimp. The murdershrimp.

Image courtesy of the NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research, Discovering the Deep: Exploring Remote Pacific MPAs.

It totally caught and ate a fish on camera. Listen man, I don't want any trouble. You can have that fish; just leave me and my family alone.

13. Let's leave the murdershrimp behind and focus on something a bit more wholesome, like this cute little jellyfish.

Image courtesy of the NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research, Discovering the Deep: Exploring Remote Pacific MPAs.

Scientists spotted this little Narcomedusae jelly about 1,800 feet down.

14. OK, enough of the cute. Time for monsters again. Meet the chimaera.

Image courtesy of the NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research, Discovering the Deep: Exploring Remote Pacific MPAs.

Chimaeras, also known as ghost fish, are related to sharks and live on the deep ocean floor. This one was found more than a mile under the surface.

15. Believe it or not, that wasn't the weirdest looking fish they found. You've really got to see this armored searobin in motion.

It's like a fish trying to cosplay as a Star Wars A-wing.

The ocean is full of such amazing life. But here's the thing: The trash is still out there too.

Those beer cans and Spam containers haven't gone away. Nobody's going along the Mariana trench with a recycling bag. And there are more subtle ways our waste affects the ocean as well. A study published in February 2017, for instance, found man-made chemicals invading the bodies of even the deepest ocean fauna.

These are (still) the kinds of images people should see. The ocean is an amazing place. Let's keep it that way.

(Because I seriously don't want that murdershrimp coming after me.)

via Chewy

Adorable Dexter and his new chew toy. Thanks Chewy Claus.

True

Every holiday season, millions of kids send letters asking for everything from a new bike to a pony. Some even make altruistic requests such as peace on Earth or helping struggling families around the holidays.

But wouldn’t the holiday season be even more magical if our pets had their wishes granted, too? That’s why Chewy Claus is stepping up to spread holiday cheer to America’s pets.

Does your dog dream of a month’s supply of treats or chew toys? Would your cat love a new tree complete with a stylish condo? How about giving your betta fish some fresh decor that’ll really tie its tank together?

Or do your pets need something more than mere creature comforts such as life-saving surgery?

Keep ReadingShow less
Photo by Jeremy Wong on Unsplash

Teen raises $186,000 to help Walmart worker retire.

In America, many people have to work well past the age of retirement to make ends meet. While some of these people choose to work past retirement age because it keeps them active, some older people, like Nola Carpenter, 81, work out of necessity.

Carpenter has been working at Walmart for 20 years, way beyond most people's retirement age just so that she can afford to continue to pay her mortgage. When 19-year-old Devan Bonagura saw the woman looking tired in the break room of the store, he posted a video to his TikTok of Carpenter with a text overlay that said, "Life shouldn't b this hard..." complete with a sad face emoji.

In the video, Carpenter is sitting at a small table looking down and appearing to be exhausted. The caption of the video reads ":/ I feel bad." Turns out, a lot of other people did too, and encouraged the teen to start a GoFundMe, which has since completed.

Keep ReadingShow less
More

12 fascinating facts about the American flag that you probably didn't know

The flag used to have 15 stars, the Pledge of Allegiance started out as a marketing gimmick, and 10 more Flag Day facts.

Photo by Robert Linder on Unsplash

There's a whole lot of story behind the American flag.

The Stars and Stripes, Old Glory, the Star-Spangled Banner — whatever you call it, the United States flag is one of the most recognizable symbols on Earth.

As famous as it is, there's still a lot you might not know about our shining symbol of freedom. For instance, did you know that on some flags, the stars used to point in different directions? Or that there used to be more than 13 stripes? How about a gut-check on all those star-spangled swimsuits you see popping up in stores around the Fourth of July?

We'll explore these topics and more in this fun list of 12 facts about the U.S. flag that you might not know about.

Keep ReadingShow less
Celebrity

U.S. Soccer star expertly handles an Iranian reporter’s loaded questions about race.

Tyler Adams’s response proves exactly why he’s the captain of the US soccer team.

Tyler Adams expertly handles Iranian reporter's question

Reporters are supposed to ask the right questions to get to the truth but sometimes it seems sports reporters ask questions to throw you off your game. There's no doubt that this Iranian reporter who was questioning Tyler Adams, the US soccer team captain at the press conference during the World Cup had an agenda that didn't involve getting to the truth.

It's not clear if the questions were designed to throw the young player off of his game or if the goal was embarrassment. It really is hard to tell, but Adams handled the unexpectedly harsh encounter with intelligence and poise when some may have found it justified for him to get angry.

Keep ReadingShow less
More

A pediatrician's viral post will bring you to tears and inspire you to be a better person.

It's incredibly easy to incorporate these lessons into our lives.

Pediatrician offers advice to inspire.

Pediatrician Alastair McAlpine gave some of his terminal patients an assignment. What they told him can inspire us all.

"Kids can be so wise, y'know," the Cape Town doctor and ultra-marathon enthusiast posted to his Twitter account. He asked the young patients, short on time, about the things that really mattered to them.

Keep ReadingShow less