An Oceans Abcdarium created by the University of Applied Sciences in Mainz, Germany


Luis Santana Hernandez

Although 70 % of Earth‘s surface is covered by oceans, comparatively little of the life beneath the waves has been investigated and recorded. Early scientists like Charles Darwin were limited in their possibilities to investigate life in deeper zones of the oceans. Therefore it was long believed that life could only exist close to the surface. During the 20th century it became clear that life thrives even in the hadal zone, the deepest zone of the ocean with extremely high pressure and no light. The international Census of Marine Life that was conducted by researchers from more than 80 nations from 2000 to 2010 estimated that at least 50 % and maybe even more than 90 % of marine species have not yet been scientifically described. The video references historic scientific illustrations. It shows the body of an unknown fish and reminds of a children‘s game. The viewer is invited playfully to have a close look and ask all the questions we have of the creatures in the most unexplored places of the vast waters.

Sources: Snelgrove, Paul: An Ocean of Discovery: Biodiversity Beyond the Census of Marine Life. In: Planta Medica 2016; 82(09/10), p. 790-799

Vermeulen, Niki: From Darwin to the Census of Marine Life: Marine Biology as Big Science. In: PLoS ONE 8(1), 2013