The term "marine snow" was first coined in the 1930s by biologist and explorer William Beebe, who saw it firsthand, peering through the portholes of his ship-tethered diving bell, the Bathysphere
. Beebe's descriptions inspired his colleague--marine biologist, conservationist, and author Rachel Carson--who called the unrelenting downward drift of undersea particles and sediments "the most stupendous 'snowfall' the Earth has ever seen."
When Otis Barton and Will Beebe descended into the ocean's depths in their bathysphere
on June 6, 1930, they became the first humans to see deep-sea creatures in their natural environment.
The lab where the creature is kept is a riot of tubes and pipes, wall-high computers and what looks like a bathysphere
. At one point, the camera moves from a pool of green-filtered light to a bank of retro TV sets in a shop window to a fat man sitting on a bench -- all irrelevant, except that they look cool.
Caption: PAGES 76-77: A) ELSE BOSTELMANN, Bathysphaera intacta Circling the Bathysphere
, Bermuda, 1934, Watercolor on paper; B) HELEN DAMROSCH TEE-VAN, Long-spined Giant Squid, Bermuda, 1929, Watercolor on paper; C) ELSE BOSTELMANN, Saber-toothed Viper fish (Chauliodus sloanei) Chasing Ocean Sun fish (Mola mola) Larva, Bermuda, 1934, Watercolor on paper; D) GEORGE SWANSON, Fly Eyes, Carlpito, Venezuela, 1942, Watercolor on paper; E) ISABEL COOPER, Green Parrot Fish, Noma Expedition, 1923, Watercolor on paper; F) HELEN DAMROSCH TEE-VAN, Untitled (Blue Striped Grunt [Haemulon sciurus] and Polychaete Worm), Bermuda, 1933, Watercolor on paper.
Deep-sea exploration began on June 11, 1930, when Charles William Beebe and Otis Barton descended 1,426 feet in a diving chamber known as a bathysphere
. It measured 4 feet, 9 inches in diameter and would take in only two passengers who entered head first through a 15-inch circular opening.
If you've never boarded the bathysphere
to Rapture, then I can't urge you enough to get out there and buy a copy.
By 1930, the two settled on a spherical design for a vessel called the bathysphere
(from the Greek words for "deep" and "sphere") that would be raised and lowered by a cable.
is an air hose away from being a tomb.
During the period he was detailed by Bill Buckley to fill the role of NR's television critic, he made the daily descent by bathysphere
into the deepest trenches of the popular psyche as intuited by the hucksters in Hollywood and New York to encounter such strange, lurid, and unformed monsters of the deep as Mary Tyler Moore, Lou Grant, Ted Baxter, and Phil Donahue, and resurface to write about them the next day, never suffering as a result a case of the bends.
The device had stopped humming, but still looked like a bathysphere
That line ends with the start of a new sentence, "My head ..." which is a critical turn as language is all in the head, all incoming communication and the violence of today's media is processed there, and the poem moves to the next stanza in which that head as bathysphere
only knows to rise, knows the need for breath, for bright, and there I was in Chicago, the sun casting my shadows on pigments of mind.
He rides in a bathysphere
to the underwater city of Rapture.