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海洋深处的那些“外星生物”们 – 译学馆
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海洋深处的那些“外星生物”们

The otherworldly creatures in the ocean's deepest depths - Lidia Lins

我们很容易就会忽略海洋到底有多浩瀚 有多深
It’s easy to forget how vast and deep the ocean really is.
海洋的60%都是冰冷黑暗的地方
About 60% of it is actually a cold and dark region
也就是我们所说的深海
known as the deep ocean.
其深度可以达到11000米
And it reaches down to 11,000 meters.
这片遥远的区域也是地球上最宜居的栖息地之一
Yet, this remote zone is also one of the greatest habitats on Earth,
孕育着生命无限的多样性
harboring a huge diversity of life,
大到鱿鱼和哥布林鲨
from giant squids and goblin sharks
小到比毫米还小的生物
to minuscule animals smaller than a millimeter.
如此多的物种是如何在这海底世界繁衍生息的呢
How do so many species thrive in this underwater world?
过去几十年 勇敢的科学家为找到答案已经进行了海底探险
Over the decades, intrepid scientists have ventured there to find out.
穿过水柱航行
Traveling down through the water column,
压力逐渐增加 光线也开始变暗
pressure increases and light begins to wane.
到水下200米时 已经没有光合作用了
At 200 meters, photosynthesis stops
而且温度自海面温度
and temperature decreases from surface temperatures
一直下降20摄氏度
by up to 20 degrees Celsius.
到1000米附近 正常的太阳光已经完全消失
By 1000 meters, normal sunlight has disappeared altogether.
没有光 生命如我们所知 想要存活几乎不可能
Without light, life as we know it seems impossible.
这就是1844年 自然学家爱德华•福布斯
That’s why in 1844, the naturalist Edward Forbes
撰写其《无生代理论》的原因
wrote his Azoic Theory,
无生代意思就是说没有动物
Azoic, meaning without animals.
福布斯确信 没有什么能在600米以下生存
Forbes was sure that nothing could survive below 600 meters
因为缺少光亮
on account of the lack of light.
当然 深海物种的发现证明他是错的
Of course, the discovery of deep-sea species proved him wrong.
福布斯错就错在没考虑到一种叫海雪的物质
What Forbes failed to take into account is something called marine snow,
这听起来要比它本身更有魅力
which sounds much nicer than it is.
海雪其实是一种有机物质
Marine snow is basically organic matter,
就像是死去的藻类植物动物的颗粒
things like particles of dead algae, plants, and animals,
漂到水下
drifting down into the depths
成为深海动物的食物
and acting as food for deep-sea animals.
大量生命形式能在黑暗中生存 很大程度上都得益于这种物质
Largely thanks to that, abundant life forms exist in the darkness,
使自己适应于严峻的现实 只有奇怪的神奇的生物可以存活
adapting to a harsh reality where only the weird and wonderful can survive.
长着凹状嘴巴的鱼
Fish with cavernous mouths,
像钉子一般的牙齿从嘴里凸出
spiky teeth jutting from their jaws,
头顶上突出探照灯一样的东西
and lamp-like structures protruding from their heads,
就像用绚丽的色彩诱捕猎物的华脐鱼
like the anglerfish which entices prey with its misleading glow.
有几种海洋生物具备完美的发光技巧
Several sea creatures have perfected this lightning technique
也就是生物体自身发光
known as bioluminescence,
利用这种光诱惑猎物
using it to lure prey,
分散捕食者的注意力
distract predators,
或者吸引异性
or attract mates.
一些物种用它来做保护色
Some creatures use it for camoflauge.
只有淡蓝色光可以透过水柱
In parts of the water column where only faint blue light filters through,
而动物的自身发光刚好和这色彩匹配
animals bioluminesce to match the glow.
如果猎物和捕食者从下往上看
Predators or prey looking up from below
就会被这保护色欺骗
are deceived by this camoflauge,
无法看见这种生物的轮廓
unable to see the creatures silhouette.
这种非凡的适应能力也是出于它们定位
Such otherworldly adaptations also arise from the need to locate
并且在食物散去之前抓住它的需要
and snatch up food before it drifts away.
一些海洋动物 比如水母 栉水母樽海鞘
Some sea animals, like jellyfish, comb jellies and salps
可以在不同深度之间移动
can migrate between depths
部分原因在于它们身体的90%如海水一般
partially because their 90% water consistency
使得它们可以承受巨大的压力
allows them to withstand immense pressure.
但它们只是特例
But they’re the exception.
大多数深海生物只能在海柱有限狭小的范围内活动
Most deep-sea creatures are confined to a narrow range in the water column
而这里的营养物质又很稀缺
where nutrients are scarce
因为食物从海面向下漂流
since the food drifting downwards from the surface
很快就会沉入海床
rapidly sinks to the sea floor.
一直下潜 我们找到了更多的奇异生物
Plunging all the way down, we find more exotic creatures.
一些呈现出矮小的样子
Some take on dwarfism,
一种将它们演化为接近于
a trait that transforms them into miniature versions of animals
地表动物的微缩版的特性
we see closer to the surface.
这被认为是由于可提供食物数量锐减引发的体积収缩
It’s thought that reduced food availability causes the shrinkage.
海面上的食物碎屑只有少部分可以到达海底
Only a tiny fraction of the food produced at the surface reaches the sea floor,
所以体积缩小给了动物一个较低的能量需求
so being small gives animals a low energy requirement
也是一种适应优势
and an adaptive advantage.
然而 大海对于体积较大的生物来说 也是天堂
And yet, the sea is also the land of giants.
在这 庞大的鱿鱼可以达到18米长
Here, gargantuan squids can reach 18 meters long.
海底周围行走的等足类动物就像巨大的木虱子
Isopods scuttle around the sea floor like enormous wood lice.
还有长腿日本蜘蛛蟹
There are long-limbed Japanese spider crabs,
皇带鱼身长可达15米
and oarfish, whose bodies stretch to 15 meters.
这种巨型化趋向的特质仍是个谜团
This trait is known as gigantism, and it’s something of a mystery.
有人认为高浓度含氧量可驱使某些生物极度发育
It’s thought that high oxygen levels may drive extreme growth in some species,
而且较冷的水温又促使它们寿命延长
while the colder temperatures promote longer life spans,
让动物可以有机会生长得更大
giving animals the opportunity to grow massive.
许多这些奇异的海兽可能永远不会感受到光
Many of these exotic sea beasts will never experience sunlight.
有些海兽会冒险穿越海层觅食
Some will venture up through the water column to feed,
有一些实际上会乘风破浪
and a few will actually break the waves,
在海平面提醒我们
reminding us at the surface
大洋深处的居民们还有如此难以置信的生存技巧
about the incredible survival skills of the ocean’s deepest inhabitants.
人类还有令人震惊的95%的海洋需要进行探索
Humans still have an astounding 95% of the ocean left to explore.
深海下的世界仍旧是一个未解之谜
So those depths remain a great mystery.
深海下还有哪些未知 接下来我们又会解开哪些秘密?
What other untold wonders lie far below, and which ones will we discover next?

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海洋深处的那些居住者,也许身上还隐藏着许多未解之谜。

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