Sea Creatures May Get Sunburns

The French have discovered that UV radiation penetrates up to 100m deep in the waters of the southeast Pacific Ocean. They propose this might explain why surface waters in this region are poor in nutrients and a relative biological desert. As you may recall from your science classes UV degrades organic compounds including DNA. The research appears in the journal Geophysical Research Letters.

Dr. M (1801 Posts)

Craig McClain is the Executive Director of the Lousiana University Marine Consortium. He has conducted deep-sea research for 20 years and published over 50 papers in the area. He has participated in and led dozens of oceanographic expeditions taken him to the Antarctic and the most remote regions of the Pacific and Atlantic. Craig’s research focuses on how energy drives the biology of marine invertebrates from individuals to ecosystems, specifically, seeking to uncover how organisms are adapted to different levels of carbon availability, i.e. food, and how this determines the kinds and number of species in different parts of the oceans. Additionally, Craig is obsessed with the size of things. Sometimes this translated into actually scientific research. Craig’s research has been featured on National Public Radio, Discovery Channel, Fox News, National Geographic and ABC News. In addition to his scientific research, Craig also advocates the need for scientists to connect with the public and is the founder and chief editor of the acclaimed Deep-Sea News (, a popular ocean-themed blog that has won numerous awards. His writing has been featured in Cosmos, Science Illustrated, American Scientist, Wired, Mental Floss, and the Open Lab: The Best Science Writing on the Web.

2 Replies to “Sea Creatures May Get Sunburns”

  1. Good question without an answer. To answer this you would have to show that fish from this region were relatively darker than there counterparts in areas were UV penetration was not as deep.

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