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So much of the ocean is still a mystery, and none more so than the depths that can only be reached with special vessels. David Shale began his career as a deep sea oceanographer with the Institute of Oceanographic Sciences. But it wasn't until he worked on the landmark BBC series ^Blue Planet^ that he began to think about photographing deep sea animals.

Accompanying scientific expeditions to some of the remotest parts of the ocean, Shale uses special tanks and the latest technologies to photograph a host of eccentric life forms as they are brought to the surface. In this way, he has helped to document species completely new to science.

Photographing deep sea animals is extremely challenging, notes Shale. Maintaining the correct conditions for his subjects means working for “up to eight hours in a very cold room on a rolling ship in the dark! But to see the animals first hand at depth, collect them and photograph them is the ultimate experience”.
Shale’s astonishing pictures of these seldom-seen creatures have appeared in the traveling exhibition and book “Deeper than Light”, published by Bergen Museum Press in November 2007.

Download our PDF story here.

Enteropneust worm / Acorn worm (Yoda purpurata) from the North Atlantic Ocean, southern Purple variety, feeds on sea floor sediment leaving behind variable wavy traces, Depth approx 2700m. ~ new speci... - David Shale
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David Shale / Enteropneust worm / Acorn worm (Yoda purpurata) from the North Atlantic Ocean, southern Purple variety, feeds on sea floor sediment leaving behind variable wavy traces, Depth approx 2700m. ~ new speci...
Enteropneust worm / Acorn worm (Yoda purpurata) from the North Atlantic Ocean, southern Purple variety, feeds on sea floor sediment leaving behind variable wavy traces, Depth approx 2700m. ~ new speci... - David Shale
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David Shale / Enteropneust worm / Acorn worm (Yoda purpurata) from the North Atlantic Ocean, southern Purple variety, feeds on sea floor sediment leaving behind variable wavy traces, Depth approx 2700m. ~ new speci...
Enteropneust worm / Acorn worm (Tergivelum cinnabarinum) from the North Atlantic Ocean,  Northern Pink variety, Feeds on sea floor sediment leaving behind characteristic spiral traces, depth approx 27... - David Shale
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David Shale / Enteropneust worm / Acorn worm (Tergivelum cinnabarinum) from the North Atlantic Ocean, Northern Pink variety, Feeds on sea floor sediment leaving behind characteristic spiral traces, depth approx 27...
Enteropneust worm / Acorn worm (tergivelum cinnabarinum) from the North Atlantic Ocean,  Northern Pink variety, Feeds on sea floor sediment leaving behind characteristic spiral traces, depth approx 27... - David Shale
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David Shale / Enteropneust worm / Acorn worm (tergivelum cinnabarinum) from the North Atlantic Ocean, Northern Pink variety, Feeds on sea floor sediment leaving behind characteristic spiral traces, depth approx 27...
Enteropneust worm / Acorn worm (Allapagus isidis) from the North Atlantic Ocean.  Southern White variety. Feeds on sea floor sediment and has been observed swimming,~ new species, first recorded in Ju... - David Shale
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David Shale / Enteropneust worm / Acorn worm (Allapagus isidis) from the North Atlantic Ocean. Southern White variety. Feeds on sea floor sediment and has been observed swimming,~ new species, first recorded in Ju...
Enteropneust worm / Acorn worm (Allapagus isidis) from the North Atlantic Ocean.  Southern White variety. Feeds on sea floor sediment and has been observed swimming,~ new species, first recorded in Ju... - David Shale
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David Shale / Enteropneust worm / Acorn worm (Allapagus isidis) from the North Atlantic Ocean. Southern White variety. Feeds on sea floor sediment and has been observed swimming,~ new species, first recorded in Ju...
Shelled Pteropod / Sea butterfly {Diacria trispinosa} with egg string attached, from between 188 and 507m, Mid-Atlantic Ridge, North Atlantic Ocean - David Shale
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David Shale / Shelled Pteropod / Sea butterfly {Diacria trispinosa} with egg string attached, from between 188 and 507m, Mid-Atlantic Ridge, North Atlantic Ocean
Deepsea Dragonfish {Eustomias monodactylus} with bioluminescent lure, from  between 498 and 805m, Mid-Atlantic Ridge, North Atlantic Ocean - David Shale
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David Shale / Deepsea Dragonfish {Eustomias monodactylus} with bioluminescent lure, from between 498 and 805m, Mid-Atlantic Ridge, North Atlantic Ocean
Deepsea octopus (Benthoctopus johnsoniana) Mid-Atlantic Ridge, North Atlantic Ocean - David Shale
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David Shale / Deepsea octopus (Benthoctopus johnsoniana) Mid-Atlantic Ridge, North Atlantic Ocean
Octopod {Grimpoteuthis discoveryi} Mid-Atlantic Ridge, North Atlantic Ocean - David Shale
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David Shale / Octopod {Grimpoteuthis discoveryi} Mid-Atlantic Ridge, North Atlantic Ocean
Glass squid {Teuthowenia megalops}, Mid-Atlantic Ridge, North Atlantic Ocean - David Shale
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David Shale / Glass squid {Teuthowenia megalops}, Mid-Atlantic Ridge, North Atlantic Ocean
Heteropod mollusc (Atlanta peroni) from between 195-498m / 640-1634ft, Mid-Atlantic Ridge, North Atlantic Ocean - David Shale
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David Shale / Heteropod mollusc (Atlanta peroni) from between 195-498m / 640-1634ft, Mid-Atlantic Ridge, North Atlantic Ocean
Giant ostracod {Gigantocypris mulleri} from between 718 and 1864m, Mid-Atlantic Ridge, North Atlantic Ocean - David Shale
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David Shale / Giant ostracod {Gigantocypris mulleri} from between 718 and 1864m, Mid-Atlantic Ridge, North Atlantic Ocean
Midwater pteropod molluscs / Sea butterflies (Clione limacina) Mid-Atlantic Ridge, North Atlantic Ocean - David Shale
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David Shale / Midwater pteropod molluscs / Sea butterflies (Clione limacina) Mid-Atlantic Ridge, North Atlantic Ocean
Juvenile Searsid {Maulisia sp}, Mid-Atlantic Ridge, North Atlantic Ocean - David Shale
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David Shale / Juvenile Searsid {Maulisia sp}, Mid-Atlantic Ridge, North Atlantic Ocean
Juvenile Searsid {Maulisia sp}, Mid-Atlantic Ridge, North Atlantic Ocean - David Shale
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David Shale / Juvenile Searsid {Maulisia sp}, Mid-Atlantic Ridge, North Atlantic Ocean
Pelagic amphipod (Phronima sp) often associated with salps, deep sea Atlantic ocean - David Shale
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David Shale / Pelagic amphipod (Phronima sp) often associated with salps, deep sea Atlantic ocean
(Neolithodes sp) a benthic, deep sea crab., deep sea Atlantic ocean - David Shale
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David Shale / (Neolithodes sp) a benthic, deep sea crab., deep sea Atlantic ocean
Deep sea Cirrate Octopod (Stauroteuthis syrtensis) from 800m depth, Atlantic. - David Shale
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David Shale / Deep sea Cirrate Octopod (Stauroteuthis syrtensis) from 800m depth, Atlantic.
Deepsea Snipe eel  (Nemichthys sp), Feeds on decapods., deep sea Atlantic ocean - David Shale
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David Shale / Deepsea Snipe eel (Nemichthys sp), Feeds on decapods., deep sea Atlantic ocean
Portrait of Fangtooth {Anoplogaster cornuta} Atlantic - David Shale
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David Shale / Portrait of Fangtooth {Anoplogaster cornuta} Atlantic
Midwater Bristlemouth fish {Sigmops elongatum} night, 188 - 507m, Mid-Atlantic Ridge, North Atlantic Ocean - David Shale
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David Shale / Midwater Bristlemouth fish {Sigmops elongatum} night, 188 - 507m, Mid-Atlantic Ridge, North Atlantic Ocean
Angler fish {Linophryne sp} from the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, North Atlantic Ocean - David Shale
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David Shale / Angler fish {Linophryne sp} from the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, North Atlantic Ocean
Deepsea fish {Paraliparis sp.) North East, Atlantic Ocean off Cape Verde Islands depth 700-1000m - David Shale
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David Shale / Deepsea fish {Paraliparis sp.) North East, Atlantic Ocean off Cape Verde Islands depth 700-1000m
Deep sea Anglerfish {Melanocoetus sp} female with lure projecting from head to attract prey. Atlantic ocean - David Shale
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David Shale / Deep sea Anglerfish {Melanocoetus sp} female with lure projecting from head to attract prey. Atlantic ocean
Deepsea copepod (Copepoda), deep sea Atlantic ocean - David Shale
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David Shale / Deepsea copepod (Copepoda), deep sea Atlantic ocean
Smallspine spookfish (Harriotta haeckeli), a Rabbitfish / Chimaera, deep sea Atlantic ocean, - David Shale
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David Shale / Smallspine spookfish (Harriotta haeckeli), a Rabbitfish / Chimaera, deep sea Atlantic ocean,
Bathypelagic Lizard fish (Bathysaurus ferox), deep sea Atlantic ocean - David Shale
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David Shale / Bathypelagic Lizard fish (Bathysaurus ferox), deep sea Atlantic ocean
Deepsea squid {Histioteuthis bonellii} showing chromatophores changing colour, from the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, 200 - 50m - David Shale
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David Shale / Deepsea squid {Histioteuthis bonellii} showing chromatophores changing colour, from the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, 200 - 50m
Deepsea Narrow-necked oceanic eel {Derichthys serpentinus} from between 188 and 507m in the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, North Atlantic Ocean - David Shale
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David Shale / Deepsea Narrow-necked oceanic eel {Derichthys serpentinus} from between 188 and 507m in the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, North Atlantic Ocean
Deepsea fish, Oreo (Neocyttus sp), deep sea Atlantic ocean - David Shale
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David Shale / Deepsea fish, Oreo (Neocyttus sp), deep sea Atlantic ocean
Snail fish {Careproctus sp} 0 - 1387m, Mid-Atlantic Ridge, North Atlantic Ocean - David Shale
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David Shale / Snail fish {Careproctus sp} 0 - 1387m, Mid-Atlantic Ridge, North Atlantic Ocean
(Periphylla sp) juvenile, jellyfish, deep sea Atlantic ocean - David Shale
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David Shale / (Periphylla sp) juvenile, jellyfish, deep sea Atlantic ocean
Deepsea benthic sea spider (Colossendeis sp), deep sea Atlantic ocean - David Shale
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David Shale / Deepsea benthic sea spider (Colossendeis sp), deep sea Atlantic ocean
Deepsea squid (Histioteuthis sp) from between 188m/617ft and 507m/1,663ft depth, night, Mid-Atlantic Ridge, North Atlantic Ocean - David Shale
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David Shale / Deepsea squid (Histioteuthis sp) from between 188m/617ft and 507m/1,663ft depth, night, Mid-Atlantic Ridge, North Atlantic Ocean
Piglet squid {Helicocranchia sp} from between 500 and 200m, Mid-Atlantic Ridge, North Atlantic Ocean - David Shale
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David Shale / Piglet squid {Helicocranchia sp} from between 500 and 200m, Mid-Atlantic Ridge, North Atlantic Ocean
Deepsea Opossum shrimp / Mysid {Gnathophausia sp} , deep sea Atlantic ocean - David Shale
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David Shale / Deepsea Opossum shrimp / Mysid {Gnathophausia sp} , deep sea Atlantic ocean
Decapod {Systellaspis sp} from midwater catch 195-498m, Mid-Atlantic Ridge, North Atlantic Ocean - David Shale
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David Shale / Decapod {Systellaspis sp} from midwater catch 195-498m, Mid-Atlantic Ridge, North Atlantic Ocean
Deepsea amphipod from between 507-805m, Mid-Atlantic Ridge, North Atlantic Ocean - David Shale
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David Shale / Deepsea amphipod from between 507-805m, Mid-Atlantic Ridge, North Atlantic Ocean
Deepsea amphipod {Scypholanceola stephensi} from between 500 and 800m, night, Mid-Atlantic Ridge, North Atlantic Ocean - David Shale
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David Shale / Deepsea amphipod {Scypholanceola stephensi} from between 500 and 800m, night, Mid-Atlantic Ridge, North Atlantic Ocean
Medusa caught with 1m ring net between 0 and 150m, Mid-Atlantic Ridge, North Atlantic Ocean - David Shale
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David Shale / Medusa caught with 1m ring net between 0 and 150m, Mid-Atlantic Ridge, North Atlantic Ocean
Comb jelly (Beroe cucumis), deep sea Atlantic ocean - David Shale
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David Shale / Comb jelly (Beroe cucumis), deep sea Atlantic ocean
(Periphylla sp) juvenile, jellyfish, deep sea Atlantic ocean - David Shale
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David Shale / (Periphylla sp) juvenile, jellyfish, deep sea Atlantic ocean
(Octophialucium funerarium) hydromedusan jellyfish, deep sea Atlantic ocean - David Shale
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David Shale / (Octophialucium funerarium) hydromedusan jellyfish, deep sea Atlantic ocean
(Luidia sarsi) bipinnaria larva, late larval stage of starfish, deep sea Atlantic ocean - David Shale
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David Shale / (Luidia sarsi) bipinnaria larva, late larval stage of starfish, deep sea Atlantic ocean
Deepsea heteropod mollusc (Carinaria lamarcki) from between 188m and 74m, Mid-Atlantic Ridge, North Atlantic Ocean - David Shale
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David Shale / Deepsea heteropod mollusc (Carinaria lamarcki) from between 188m and 74m, Mid-Atlantic Ridge, North Atlantic Ocean
Close up of mouth of a Bristleworm {Polychaeta} from the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, North Atlantic Ocean - David Shale
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David Shale / Close up of mouth of a Bristleworm {Polychaeta} from the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, North Atlantic Ocean
Bristleworm {Polychaeta} from the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, North Atlantic Ocean - David Shale
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David Shale / Bristleworm {Polychaeta} from the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, North Atlantic Ocean
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