The Brilliant Abyss: True Tales of Exploring the Deep Sea, Discovering Hidden Life and Selling the Seabed by Helen Scales will be published in paperback by Bloomsbury on 4 August.
The Brilliant Abyss is the story of our relationship with the deep sea – how we imagine, explore and exploit it.
In the book, marine biologist, diver, surfer, broadcaster and writer, Helen Scales, eloquently and passionately brings to life the majesty and mystery of the deep sea — the single biggest habitable space on the planet. It’s home to fantastic creatures — from furry, dancing crabs to glowing worms swimming elegant pirouettes — that have all evolved unique ways to survive in extreme conditions of super-high pressure, little food or company, and permanent darkness. Revealing the hidden secrets of the deep is illuminating not only more about life on earth, but hints at the potential for life on other planets.
The deep has a huge effect on our daily lives. It captures vast quantities of carbon keeping it away from the atmosphere; novel chemicals hold the promise of new medicines. Yet the deep also holds huge mineral riches lusted after by many nations and corporations; mining the deep seabed could ultimately devastate the planet, compounded by the deepening impacts of ubiquitous pollutants and rampant overfishing.
The Brilliant Abyss is at once a revelation and a clarion call to preserve this vast unseen world.
‘It is hard to imagine a more timely or important book than The Brilliant Abyss‘ – New Statesman
‘Scales’s plea to leave the deep alone […] is a persuasive and edifying one’ –The Daily Telegraph
‘Scales’s approach is […] enthralling and richly expressed and highlights how closely our lives depend on the deep’ – The Observer
‘An enjoyable and accessible introduction to the deep sea, told with a passion that I found infectious’ – New Scientist