HMS Challenger
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Artifical Bathybius

GLAHM 111845

Holding institution:

Licence:

Open Government Licence

Voyage:

HMS Challenger (1872-76)

Date Collected:

4 March 1876 - 4 March 1876

Form:

Fluid

Station:

327

Station/Area Information

Station:

327

Date collected:

04/03/1876

Area:

Argentine Basin, off Argentina

Water body:

South Atlantic Ocean

FAO:

41

Decimal Latitude:

-36.80

Decimal Longitude:

-42.75

Specific Gravity at water bottom:

1.02829

Temperature at 25 fathoms:

68°F

Temperature at 50 fathoms:

66.8°F

Temperature at 75 fathoms:

65.6°F

Temperature at 100 fathoms:

64°F

Temperature at 125 fathoms:

62°F

Temperature at 150 fathoms:

59.7°F

Temperature at 175 fathoms:

57.5°F

Temperature at 200 fathoms:

55°F

Temperature at 225 fathoms:

52.5°F

Temperature at 250 fathoms:

50.3°F

Temperature at 275 fathoms:

48.2°F

Temperature at 300 fathoms:

46°F

Temperature at 400 fathoms:

40.4°F

Temperature at 500 fathoms:

38.4°F

Temperature at 600 fathoms:

37.8°F

Temperature at 700 fathoms:

37.6°F

Temperature at 800 fathoms:

37.4°F

Temperature at 900 fathoms:

37.2°F

Temperature at 1000 fathoms:

37°F

Notes:

Jar of sea water, mixed with alcohol, resulting in precipitate of gypsum. A most interesting specimen. There are two original labels on the jar. One says "Artificial "Bathybius" prepared on board H.M.S. Challenger by Sir John Murray". The other says "1 oz salt H2O 3 oz Spirit 4th March 1876 South Atlantic". Bathybius was the name given to the white slime found in many alcohol-preserved deep marine samples by Thomas Huxley, who thought it to be the primitive link between living and non-living matter from which more organised cellular life forms had evolved on Earth. This idea was disproved on the Challenger cruise when one such sample was analysed by JY Buchanan. The white precipitate found simply to be calcium sulphate, rather than anything organic.
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