The Arctic polar night is a time when the sun remains below the horizon for a full 24-hour cycle.
The Arctic polar night is a time when the sun remains below the horizon for a full 24-hour cycle. It is dark, but not completely. Nevertheless, the lack of light has long led researchers to assume that the organisms that live through this dark period are mostly dormant.
For a decade, an international team of researchers has been exploring the polar night to see exactly how organisms survive in the dark.
Over the course of their surveys, they’ve learned the only way they can really understand what’s going on is to turn out the lights on their research vessels and rely on autonomous underwater vehicles that need no light to do their work.
And when they’ve done that, they’ve found birds that dive into the nearly pitch-black ocean to feast on bioluminescent plankton and krill, and deepwater fishes that normally live at great depths foraging in kelp beds just 2 metres deep, to name just a few.
Read more at Norwegian University Of Science And Technology
Photo Credit: Geir Johnsen, NTNU/UNIS