Apr 162023

Moribund Mantras

Humans continue sending cameras into the deepest waters on Earth and continue seeing strange creatures that live there. If those creatures have minds, they may be thinking we should mind our own goddamned business, especially the two snailfish that were physically caught in the Izu-Ogasawara Trench last September at a depth of 8.022 meters (just under five miles below sea level). Even the snailfish that were only videoed at a depth of 8,336 meters, making them the deepest fish ever captured on film, might have felt annoyed. (The film was released earlier this month, reported here.)

But the snailfish aren’t the deepest sea creatures discovered so far. There’s an octopus that’s been found at an estimated 9,800 meters below sea level in the Marianas Trench. And the deepest part of the Marianas Trench measured so far (the deepest surveyed point of all the Earth’s oceans) is 10,971 meters (6.817 miles) below the water’s surface. There’s probably life down there too — we just don’t yet have the technology to go look.

Why the hell am I sharing this info here? It’s because I’ve been thinking about the allure of oddities (for want of a better term). Life-forms found at depths once thought unsurvivable bear resemblances to creatures that dwell far closer to the surface, but their appearance has been twisted in unusual and often frightening ways as they adapted through evolution in their epochal descents. Their strange fascinations lead us to keep searching for them, and to attempt to comprehend how they have survived.

Some (but not all) of today’s music bears resemblances to more familiar forms of black and blackened metal, but it is also twisted into unusual and sometimes frightening shapes. Searching for such oddities is one of our pastimes, because the results can be fascinating. (The risk of operating in a blog where there’s no one telling you what to do is that it permits strained analogies that consume a lot of space.) Continue reading »