“So far as we know, there is no tooth fairy in the deep ocean.”
It’s Thanksgiving week in the US, and we want to tell you how thankful we are for you, our readers. Upwell is now in its third year and we wouldn’t have gotten here without you. We are thankful that you take the time to not just read the Tide Report, but also to amplify the good work of your peers on Team Ocean. After all, the purpose of the Tide Report isn’t just to tell you how big the waves are - it’s also to tell you when and where to jump in and surf. And by “surf” we mean amplify. Thank you for all amplifying, from the deepest depths of our hearts.
With that, we bring you a great story from Team Ocean: one that shows the power of great ocean content to ripple across the interwebs. The team at MBARI has been enjoying a surge of attention, and we’ve got some of the details of how and why it happened. We’ve also got positive stories about beach cleanups, pretty plankton, and coral gardening.

In this issue
  1. Why, how, and how much the Internet <3s the black seadevil anglerfish
  2. Beach cleanup sees new surge
  3. A ‘eureka mistake’ that may save coral
  4. Plankton are important, and pretty
  5. Autopsies from space
  6. Job opportunities
  7. Calendar

Why, how, and how much the Internet <3s the black seadevil anglerfish

If you haven’t seen the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute’s footage of the seadevil anglerfish, I’m sorry to report that you are officially behind the times.

Twitter mentions of the seadevil anglerfish, and anglerfish in general, since October 24.
Since its release late last week, the video has been viewed over 5 million times, a record for MBARI's videos. Just goes to show how viral deep sea awesomeness can be. Using Upwell’s proprietary and 100% unscientific viral decoding method (aka polling our team), we believe these are the key factors that have led to its success:
  • Focus on the subject: The video is all about the fish, and doesn’t try to cram in other messages. The anglerfish footage is on loop. MOAR anglerfish!
  • Short and sweet: Two minutes. That’s the internet sweet spot. They probably could have said more, but they focused on the top two minutes of interestingness.
  • Conversational: You’d be hard pressed to find someone who wouldn’t understand the language in this video. They explain the fish’s behavior in ways anyone could understand, and even throw in a deadpan joke about the tooth fairy for good measure.
  • Awe and incredulity: Anglerfish are already some of the weirdest creatures on our planet. The seadevil is an oddball in an already odd class. And it’s got the added bonus of being super rare and never before filmed alive and at depth.
  • Shareability: The video is on YouTube, which means it’s embeddable by media platforms worldwide. In today’s Internet, the platform is almost as important as the content itself.
What does this mean for MBARI? Well, Susan von Thun, their video lab’s Senior Research Technician, has told us that MBARI has seen “a huge bump” in views of their other videos. One video about research in the Sargasso Sea had less than 1,000 views last week and now has over 50K - which is great news since they’re trying to get NSF funding for the research. They’ve also gained over 600 Twitter followers, over 1,600 Facebook fans and nearly 2,500 new YouTube subscribers, and that’s just at press time - the video is still gaining steam.
The video has been featured on varied sites - TIME, Huffington Post, io9 and the Verge, to name a few. But where did it first get featured? The local paper - the Santa Cruz Sentinel. Just goes to show that with good content, you don’t need to pitch to the New York Times - if it’s good enough, they’ll come to you!

Watch this

Beach cleanup sees new surge In other positive news, California’s coastal cleanup saw a big bump in participation this year, after a three-year downward trend.
A ‘eureka mistake’ that may save coral One scientist from the Mote Tropical Research Laboratory thought he had killed some coral polyps he was growing. But instead, he discovered that “microfragmenting” may hold the key to saving the Florida Keys.
Plankton are important, and pretty Julia Bennett, a student in marine science and photography, has combined her passions, sharing beautiful photographs of plankton that remind us of outer space. Not just that - she’s here to tell us how they’re affected by ocean acidification.

Living Sapphirina (sea sapphire) copepod, photo by Julia Bennett
Autopsies from space Scientists wanted to figure out why endangered Steller sea lions were disappearing in parts of Alaska, so they developed a special monitoring tag that allowed them to perform “autopsies from space.” The culprit, they believe, is a rise in the population of sleeper sharks due to fishing restrictions in the area.


Job opportunities

Oceana: Director, Digital Engagement

NOAA, Office of National Marine Sanctuaries: Constituent and Legislative Affairs Volunteer Internship

Vulcan Philanthropy/Paul G. Allen Family Foundation: Senior Project Manager

Heal the Bay: Science and Policy Director

Pew Charitable Trusts: Senior Associate, U.S. Oceans, Pacific

December 1-12
COP20, Lima, Peru, #COP20


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