Meet the creatures of the night sea

In the darkness of the open water, rarely seen creatures dance along the ocean current.

A juvenile African pompano, or threadfin trevally, swims through the Verde Island Passage, a major shipping lane in the Philippines. Its streaming filaments resemble the tentacles of a jellyfish—a possible advantage for evading predators that patrol the night sea.

In the open ocean in the dead of night, a light-studded downline silently sinks a hundred feet into the water’s inky depths.

Minutes later, there’s a splash as divers plunge in too. Equipped with scuba gear, a bevy of lights, and waterproof DSLR cameras clipped to their suits, David Doubilet and Jennifer Hayes descend into a realm of the unimaginable.

“When you first get in, it is a galaxy of light,” Doubilet says of black-water diving. “You see fellow divers with their shafts of focusing lights and red lights: a galaxy here and a galaxy there.”

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