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Old 12-10-2002, 06:55 PM
Alietta Alietta is offline
Join Date: Aug 2002
How do deep-sea creatures survive under the pressure?

I was watching a submersible documentary and they said the pressure at the bottom of the ocean is something like 1.4 tons, but there's a lot of life on the bottom of the sea. how do they live without being crushed?
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Old 12-10-2002, 07:34 PM
Richard Pearse Richard Pearse is offline
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Adelaide
Posts: 8,654
Well, I don't know the specifics but basically they are built for it, and if they could, they might wonder how it is that we can survive up here without exploding.
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Old 12-10-2002, 07:39 PM
DarrenS DarrenS is offline
Join Date: Mar 2000
I believe it has to do with them being filled with water at a roughly equal pressure...somehow.
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Old 12-10-2002, 07:49 PM
Yarster Yarster is offline
Join Date: Oct 1999
Well, the liquid inside and outside their bodies is at equal pressure so they are not crushed. Remember, liquids are incompressable. They also don't have the same types of air pockets are own bodies are filled with which cause us the traditional compression problems you are thinking of.

Finally, these creatures have specially evolved biochemistry and proteins that allows them to function in the extreme cold and darkness. The pressure and conditions themselves helped shape this evolution to the creatures you see today.
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Old 12-10-2002, 09:47 PM
cdhostage cdhostage is offline
Join Date: Sep 2002
They started that way... I know that's a glib answer, but it's the root of it all. When Creature J was made/born/spawned (lesse, tubeworms, fishies, crabs, worms, probably lost of other stuff), its body was already pushing out with the same pressure - that is, it's MADE of its surroundings. And over time as the little J grew up,m adding more local mass to itself, its pressure outward remains pretty much the same.

This is why, when you try and take one of these creatures up to the surface, they explode - they are still pushing outward at 1.4 tons/sq in or whatever, while we've only got sea level atmospheric pressure on the surface.

I dunno how anything got DOWN there. Then again, I dunno haow anyting got started up here either.

I suppose ya start with a humble sulfur-eating heat-loving bacteria and move up from there, and everntually you've got an intersting ecosystem.
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Old 12-11-2002, 10:41 AM
handy handy is offline
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: Pacific Grove, Calif
Posts: 17,493
Another angle is to consider that they don't have air in them.
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Old 12-11-2002, 01:24 PM
bbeaty bbeaty is offline
Join Date: Aug 1999
We live under a "sea" of air with a 15lb force pushing on each square inch of our bodies. Shouldn't we all be crushed?

Just for comparison, a one-inch rod made of lead must be THREE FEET long in order to weigh 15lbs. Lay down on the ground and have someone stack 3ft lead rods all over you (or pile lead bricks on you to a height of 3ft.)

If you can explain why 15PSI doesn't crush YOU, then you'll know why a much higher ambient pressure won't crush you either.
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Old 12-11-2002, 01:34 PM
Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor is offline
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Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Dogpatch/Middle TN.
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How do deep-sea creatures survive under the pressure?
Stress management & Prozac.
"Love is suspicious, love is needy. Love is fearful, love is greedy. My friends, there is no great love without great jealousy! I love you meatbags!"
~~~~ Bender Bending Rodriquez
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Old 12-11-2002, 01:55 PM
The Flying Dutchman The Flying Dutchman is offline
Join Date: Nov 2000
There are aquatic mammals known to dive several thousand feet on a gulp of air, So absence of air does not explain it.
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Old 12-11-2002, 04:15 PM
SPOOFE SPOOFE is offline
Join Date: Apr 2000
There are aquatic mammals known to dive several thousand feet on a gulp of air, So absence of air does not explain it.
Absence of lower-pressure air does, however.

Try this for an experiment: Go to the top of Mount Everest (okay, so it's more of a thought experiment), and fill up a balloon with Everest-level air pressure. Expand the balloon to, say, a foot in diameter. Then take that balloon back down to sea level, and the extra pressure will cause the balloon to compress to, say, 8 inches in diameter.

It's not that deep sea creatures don't have pockets of air, it's just that the pockets of air they do have are ALSO at a pressure of 1.4 tons per square whatever (foot? inch?).
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