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Diving Into the ‘Twilight Zone’ to Save a Vanishing World

Diving Into the ‘Twilight Zone’ to Save a Vanishing World

These divers are gearing up to head 400 feet
underwater. Their bodies will experience immense, almost
fatal, pressure that can literally turn the very thing keeping them alive — against
them. “The longer you stay down there, the more
gas, mostly helium, also nitrogen, on boards into your tissues, into your blood, into your
muscles, into your bones; it’s just building up inside your body and you have to let that
out.” The Twilight Zone is one of the most mysterious
and dangerous places on Earth. Only an elite team can handle the complexities
of diving at these depths and conduct scientific research. Their job is a race against time to survey
these deepwater coral before they come under serious threat from pollution and warming
ocean temperatures. “I would say less than 10, 15 scientists
worldwide go to those depths. And because of that, everything is new. Everything is novel. We don’t know what’s there, because nobody
goes there.” Luiz Rocha is one of only a dozen of divers
in the world with enough expertise to reach the twilight zone. A place you don’t want to visit alone. “We’re dive buddies, so Luiz and I, we’re
almost inseparable, both on land and underwater.” Bart and Luiz are equipped with nearly 180
pounds of gear. Fins, bailout tanks, propeller scooters, and
dive computers — these are all essential to surviving in the twilight zone. “Getting all the gear on, on the boat, and
getting ready to drop into the water is definitely the most intense time. We make sure our straps are all clipped, we
make sure our valves are on. It’s hot, you’re in the sun, in Neoprene,
black, dying basically.” The key piece of equipment that will keep
Bart and Luiz alive is called the rebreather. Because at the levels they’re going, the normal
mix of oxygen and nitrogen actually becomes toxic. “The deeper we go with nitrogen, the more
narcotic it becomes. So it’s the equivalent of diving drunk.” “We make the sign to descent and we go down
together. That can be a 300 foot free fall.” “When you’re in a shallow tropical coral
reef it’s well lit, it’s warm, and as we go deeper we see the transition. Everything becomes slower, and colder, and
darker.” “Then finally you’ll start to see the bottom
come up and that’s when you work. You have your 10 minutes, your 15 minutes
on the bottom.” And that’s it. That’s all the time that these divers can
spend exploring the Twilight Zone before all that gas they’re inhaling becomes lethal. “It requires constantly monitoring yourself
for symptoms of all kinds of different aspects of different gases interacting with your body. So we have to be constantly thinking about
our gear and ourselves, and at the same time, trying to do science at those depths.” During their incredibly short window of time,
the dive team have to survey their surroundings, catalogue coral and capture new species. In fact, they’ve been known to collect 12
new species in just a single dive. “It’s really intense. All you’re thinking about is, “Catch the fish. Do the job that I’m here to do. Where’s my buddy? Okay, everybody’s okay. What’s the time? OK I’ve got a little bit more time.” “We have our own language and screaming
gestures, and taglines, and things like that that we’ll use to communicate and then we’ll
scream at each other in our ridiculous helium voices if we see something really exciting,
you know, come over here and look at this fish.” Bart and Luiz would spend hours down in the
Twilight Zone if they could, but it’s time to ascend. “We have an agreed upon time where we leave,
what we call the TTS, the Time To Surface.” Ascending too fast can cause life threatening
conditions, like decompression sickness or the bends. So Luiz and Bart follow a very specific decompression
schedule, which means ascending in stages. “If we have 10 to 15 minutes at the bottom,
it could be 3-4 hours after that to come back up to the surface.” The longest stop is just before Bart and Luiz
surface – just 10 ft below the waterline where they can spend up to 90 minutes. 90 minutes in just one spot. “I’ve had about 300 hours of rebreather
diving now in the past few years doing this project, and when you think about it, it’s
probably like maybe a sixth of that is in the Twilight Zone and the rest of it’s all
the decompression. But you know, it’s worth it.” Bart and Luiz are just beginning to scratch
the surface of the Twilight Zone. And the information they collect from these
deep reefs are invaluable. They’re so rarely studied, that we could
be in danger of losing them before we fully understand them. “Every time we go to those depths, We find
plastics, we find fishing gear//We find all signs of human activity, even as deep as we
go, to 400, 500 feet.” And Bart and Luiz are willing to go through
the process of donning heavy equipment, risking decompression sickness and spending hours
underwater, over and over again, just so they can better understand this world. “It’s definitely worth it to be able to
go down there and see places that no person has ever seen before.”

100 thoughts on “Diving Into the ‘Twilight Zone’ to Save a Vanishing World”

  1. i m the best diver i know the deepest i v gone is 18 feet without any equipment in a pool and it hurts my ears alot

  2. waitaminute … gloveless dives … at 400 feeton a research mission!?!?! that's either completely bullshit, or completely batshit :-

  3. "There is a fifth dimension beyond that which is known to man. It is a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity. It is the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition, and it lies between the pit of man's fears and the summit of his knowledge. This is the dimension of imagination. It is an area which we call the Twilight Zone."
    cue Twilight Zone theme

  4. Ah, the bends. You experience this when you deep dive to Titanic’s sister ship the HMHS Britannic off the coast of Greece.

  5. 4:00 "What da ****, its a new species ! new species right here." That is NOT how I imagined scientists react to a new discovery.

  6. "they're so rarely studied that we could be in danger of losing them before we fully understand them" great just great … i love hearing great news like these… really fucking brightens my day….


  7. You unlock this door with the key of imagination. beyond it, is another dimension. not only of sight and sound, but of mind you've just entered The Twilight Zone.

  8. "It's A Good Life" in "The Eye of The Beholder" who is the one that is here "To Serve Man" it is quite "The Encounter" in "The Midnight Sun" also, I just realised that I'm a mannequin…

  9. Most interesting and the life shown was really neat. Yes. On a deep dive, you have to ascend very slowly to prevent the developed of decompression sickness also known as the bends.

  10. Very instructive. Btw guy's am splititkrishna from mauritius. i've just launched my channel. I've dislocated my right shoulder and fractured a finger but still i won't give up exercising. #nevergiveup. "Secrets to succeed doing the MIDDLE SPLIT." Tips=stretch and look for a support from a wall for the back thus you will not lose control over the split.

  11. I thought i saw in the title;Dieing into the twilight zone
    Me: … isnt this appropriate For kids
    Watches the video

  12. Everyone here talking about marine biology. And I'm here simply amazed at the production output done so professionally! Well done!

  13. Can't they just use underwater drones to go that deep? I'm sure I'm missing something but tasks observing terrain, collecting samples or even catching species could be carried out by robots, right?

  14. from where does hydrogen and helium come if I have only oxygen in my cylinder? why the gas build in the body? does this mean we have gas in our blood on surface that will evaporate when we go to space?

  15. Both of those divers skills and techniques in the water are atrocious! I get a strong impression that they bought all that gear before having mastered it and were ready for that kind of diving.

    For those that are watching this and are recreational scuba divers, what you see those two doing is NOT indicative of technical diving or technical divers.

    For those that don't dive yet but want to be biologists, oceanologists, or work with exotic animals and creatures, most reef systems in the world are pretty shallow and can be visited by just about everyone. You don't have to dive with all that equipment or go to those depths.

    If you want to do something like this, learn to dive where you live, dive often, and contact your local university for details about programs they offer.

  16. This refresh of the channel makes me long for the discovery channel, my entire life I have watched the discovery channel and though I gave up cable 10+ years ago it is one of, if not the only draw I have to getting a package again. I just have no desire for cable otherwise. I'm happy to rediscover this channel as the name change passed me by and I didn't like the name seeker so I haven't watched any content. Shout out to Amy, she is a peach and it looks like she has done some voice training. It's nothing compared to her getting excited while regaling encounters with astronaut's, but her voice is perfect for this.

  17. Diving drunk.. damnit why does that sound so cool is ti coz Di+dr=2x D starts.. or coz oimagination..or syncronization o f both cooln esses.damn

  18. Interesting video! However, there are far more than a few divers who are capable of reaching that depth. (Though almost none of them are scientist)

  19. That Twilight Zone is located in Verde Island Passage in the Philippines. That place is also considered as the Center of the Center of Marine Biodiversity. And they discovered a hundred new species including Heart Orchin (living fossil)

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