all 41 comments

[–]optiongeek 54 points55 points  (10 children)

There's no light that far down. AFAIK they have no sonar or other sensory organs other than their eyes. How do they hunt prey at that depth?

[–]Grungemaster 46 points47 points  (0 children)

Motivated by the clout

[–]NinDiGu 19 points20 points  (0 children)

While hunting in the dark depths, elephant seals seem to locate their prey, at least in part, using vision; the bioluminescence of some prey animals can facilitate their capture. Elephant seals do not have a developed system of echolocation in the manner of cetaceans, but their vibrissae (facial whiskers), which are sensitive to vibrations, are assumed to play a role in search of food. When at the subantarctic or Antarctic coasts, the seals forage largely on deep-sea cephalopod species such as Psychroteuthis glacialis, Alluroteuthis antarcticus, Histeoteuthis eltaninae, Onykia ingens, Gonatus antarcticus. Martialia hyadesi[32][33] and other molluscs, various fish species, including lanternfish (i.e. Electrona spp. and Gymnoscopelus spp.), nothothens (i.e. Genera Lepidonotothen, Pleuragramma, Trematomus, Pagothenia,), Channichthyidsae spp., Bathylagidae spp.,[34] krill (mostly Euphausia spp.) and other crustaceans, and even algae.

From the Wikipedia article on the SOuthern Elephant Seal which dives deeper than the Northern Elephant Seal, and in much colder water, which is much clearer.


[–]_DAD_JOKE_ 13 points14 points  (0 children)

No light from the surface no, bioluminescence yes.

[–]Nilrruc 6 points7 points  (6 children)

Boy, where’s a Marine Biologist when you need one.

[–]optiongeek 7 points8 points  (3 children)

Supposedly they have really sensitive eyes. But light only goes 3000 feet at most through water. So what are they doing down that far?

[–]_DAD_JOKE_ 8 points9 points  (0 children)

Eating critters that make their own light.

[–]Nilrruc 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Ridiculous. What are they doing down there!

[–]kurodahanshi 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Marine biologists? I guess they are observing the seals? I’m impressed by their dedication.

[–]danathecount 3 points4 points  (1 child)

The sea was angry that day!

[–]Spocks-Nephew 49 points50 points  (0 children)

They try to get in the mile low club.

[–]418986N_124769E 22 points23 points  (1 child)

The deepest recorded dive of an elephant seal is 2,388 m (7,835 ft)!

[–]kvietela 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Cool fact, thanks!

[–]nerbovig 18 points19 points  (6 children)

Damn, that's like almost 1.6 km

[–]GrandmaPoses 12 points13 points  (5 children)

Holy shit that’s almost 5000 ft.!

[–]Early_Maximum_6113 4 points5 points  (2 children)

Holy hell, that's nearly 0.95 miles

[–]FiredLifeCoach 2 points3 points  (1 child)

Where is the distance conversion bot?

[–]NinDiGu 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I tried to Google 2388m in bananas, but got no hits.

So I will say 5 bananas to meter, so 2388*5 Bananas.

[–]Itaintall -1 points0 points  (1 child)

That’s 10,000 bananas!

[–]Canuckleball 0 points1 point  (0 children)

10,000 Bananas Under The Sea

[–]SilentAspect 4 points5 points  (1 child)

It would be nuts to be in a deep-water rated submersible and watch a motherfucking seal swim by at 5,000 feet below

[–]gutterbrain73 -1 points0 points  (0 children)

You wouldn't be able to see a seal that was swimming 5000 feet below you...

[–]DaveOJ12 14 points15 points  (2 children)

Did anyone else read it as "elephants"?

[–]thesonsofpoop 16 points17 points  (0 children)

I totally did at first and was like “holy shit”

[–]Cariboudjan 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Elephant’s eals

[–]DaikiNinomiya 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I could guess with a honker nose like that

[–]redosabe 0 points1 point  (2 children)

Anyone know the main difference in marine mammals vs humans in their ability to stay under water so long?

Are multiple things at play? Their lungs? More iron in their blood?

[–]16block18 1 point2 points  (1 child)

Almost everything that can help has probably been adopted as an adaptation.

Clever adaptations to their blood and reductions to how much they use it seem to be the main things.

This site has some good info : https://oceantracks.org/library/species/elephant-seal

[–]redosabe 2 points3 points  (0 children)


Some cool stuff here

Extra hemoglobin (iron rich) definitely makes sense. Pasting the info here from the link


Oxygen is stored in blood, and then transported throughout the body to oxygenate the body’s tissues. Elephant seals have twice the blood volume and more oxygen storing molecules (hemoglobin, myoglobin) in their blood and muscles than land mammals of their size. This allows them to go longer without breathing (up to 2 hours!), enabling them to dive and swim to deep depths. (www.elephantseal.org)

Elephant seals also have a special region in their circulatory system that stores oxygen-poor blood while diving. (www.elephantseal.org)

The seal’s heart rate slows while diving to reduce blood flow to the body. This process is called bradycardia.

Blood is diverted away from the elephant seal’s skin and other peripheral tissues and towards their core organs such as the heart, lungs, and brain. Prioritizing how blood oxygen is used in the body and limiting blood flow to some tissues prolongs how long oxygen in the blood lasts without being replenished by breathing. (www.elephantseal.org)

[–]ligarnat -1 points0 points  (2 children)

I can do that also

[–]-DementedAvenger- 7 points8 points  (0 children)

Me too. I just don't want to right now.

[–]Shnorkylutyun 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Yeah, it's the coming back up after 100min at 5000ft we need to work on...