You won’t see these amazing animals on a day at the beach, but they’re there — living in the vast, cold, unexplored midwater region of the ocean. Learn about six of its residents and how they’ve adapted to life in the dark.

These weird-looking, isolated aquatic creatures probably won’t star in a Pixar film anytime soon, but by studying them, we can learn about our planet’s past and its future, says evolutionary biologist and ichthyologist Prosanta Chakrabarty.

Bigeye at Rapture Reef, a part of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Marine National Monument. Within this marine protected area, fish species can rebound. Photo by the NOAA National Ocean Service.

Given climate change, coral bleaching, ocean acidification and overfishing, it can be easy to feel depressed about our oceans. But when you look at the big picture of ocean health, good news emerges.

Thomas Peschak takes stunning, up-close pictures of starfish, sharks and whales. His goal? To make us fall in love with them so much that we might even care about preserving the oceans.

We asked legendary oceanographer Sylvia Earle for her menu advice. Below, check out Earle’s take on omega oils, tuna rolls, and her ideal meal.

Dire ocean stats from Mission Blue, the Netflix original documentary about scientist Sylvia Earle.

For Mission Blue, the Ocean CREST Alliance reports on an unsettling encounter with illegal fishing in the protected fishing grounds of the Bahamas.