How some of the most mysterious deep-sea animals in the ocean are fighting climate change

Transparent jellyfish, fish with "fishing poles" attached to their heads, and pancake-shaped Octopuses are all part of the deep sea family.

How some of the most mysterious deep-sea animals in the ocean are fighting climate change

An underwater robot searches for these creatures in Monterey Bay.

Monterey Bay Aquarium's "Into the Deep" exhibition features the creatures they found. It took five years for the exhibit to be completed. To replicate deep-sea environments, the design includes pipes, pumps and filters.

"This exhibit gives visitors the chance to see animals that no-one has seen before," Beth Redmond Jones, Monterey Bay Aquarium Vice President of Exhibitions, said to CBS News' senior environmental and national correspondent Ben Tracy.

Tommy Knowles and his crew spend time searching for the creatures in an area Knowles stated is "really far away from the surface, but also really far away from the bottom."

He said that the animals we are looking for in the middlewater are more of these squishy, weirder-looking animals.

Deep-sea animals can also be found in the so-called "oxygen minim zone". The robot can travel as low as 3,000 feet below sea level. The marine snow, which contains a lot of debris from whale poop and fish scales, impedes visibility as the robot descends.

Researchers discovered a vampire jellyfish in these depths. A barreleye fish is another rare find. It has a transparent dome head that reveals its upward-facing eyes and a transparent body. It has only been seen 10 times by humans.

Remote control of the robot is possible via a control room on board a ship floating along the California coast. They discover a jellyfish that is so rare it doesn't even know its name during one of their trips.

They extend the robot’s arm and use suction to capture it in a container.

They also found a Red Paper Lantern jellyfish as well as another jellyfish, known as the bloody-belly jellycomb jelly.

The team rushes for larger jars and a lab to store their findings.

The marine life is crucial to keeping much of earth's carbon from the atmosphere. Scientists believe that the planet would have already reached its maximum temperature without an ocean ecosystem.

"The ocean has absorbed more than 90% heat from global heating. It sequesters approximately 25% of carbon dioxide we release into the atmosphere each year from fossil fuels. The ocean provides crucial life support," Kelly Benoit - Bird, Senior Scientist at Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute and Science Chair, stated.

Scientists are studying how deep-sea animals feed under darkness. Millions of them emerge from the depths at night, and scientists are trying to understand their role.

Scientists believe that the animals may be responsible for sequestering as much as half the carbon dioxide absorbed into the ocean by eating plants and other marine animals.

Benoit-Bird stated, "We are trying to understand exactly what role this migration plays"

This comes at a price. Climate experts have found that the oceans are rapidly becoming more acidic. This could make storms more powerful and potentially deadly. It could also affect the ocean life, which is constantly working overtime to protect our planet.


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