From the Deep

By Alexis Chappuis

There are unseen worlds. Habitats at depths of 30, 40, down to 150 meters that are teeming with life. Laying beyond the limits of recreational diving, little is known about them. They are called mesophotic coral ecosystems from Latin words meaning middle light.

They are connected to shallow environments and crucial to global coral resilience. They provide nurseries, shelter, and sources of food. But these habitats are also endangered. Plastic is sinking and can be found deep below the ocean floor.

Alexis Chappuis founded UNSEEN Underwater Scientific Exploration for Education to photograph those worlds. Our images are here to testify and open a tiny window on our deep-dwelling neighbours and mesophotic seascapes, hiding just a few tens of metres beneath our fins, and which deserve the same level of empathy and respect as their shallow-water counterparts

Photos were taken by Alexis Chappuis during expeditions in Klungkung and Karangasem, Bali from 2019 to 2021. The expeditions were in collaboration with Udayana University and supported by Blancpain Ocean Commitment, the National Geographic Society, and Institut Français d’Indonésie