At 200 meters below the ocean’s surface, the sun’s rays from above begin to fade and below, a dark abyss leads to an unknown world. At this depth it’s not uncommon to run into a school of haddock, a cockatoo squid or Jaws. The deeper we go, light diminishes even more and water temperatures become uncomfortably cold, reaching as low as 40°F. The consuming darkness reveals bioluminescent life forms such as the salp, a jellyfish-like creature and at much deeper depths, the bizarre, alien-looking angler fish. As we approach 300 meters, we’re close to the deepest known depth ever recorded by a scuba diver. It was 332 meters to be exact, and achieved by Egyptian scuba diver, Ahmed Gabr back in 2014. At this point, pressure has constantly been building at a rate of 1 atmosphere every 33 meters of depth. At 427 meters, we’re looking at 639.8 PSI, and then increases to 729.1 PSI at 488 meters, which is more than enough pressure to crush a household brick and is the force equivalent to that of a lion’s bite. Finally, 500 meters, our desired depth. That’s 1,640 feet below the ocean’s surface. Close to the height of the Freedom Tower underwater and smack dab in the middle of the ocean’s water column. Welcome to the Mesopelagic zone.
Surprisingly, the Mesopelagic zone is teeming with life, considering the absence of sufficient light doesn’t allow for photosynthesis. Humans however, are a rare sighting in this area of the ocean column and at 500 meters, if the cold water temperatures or the occasional creepy creature doesn’t get you, then the intense surrounding pressure from the massive body of water that is the ocean will. It’s a depth that those brave enough to explore, is only experienced through a window of a submersible. It’s an underwater world solely for a professional, and of course a “professional” watch to explore.