Signed copies available from Erich Hoyt Books.

Updated Third Edition (Nov. 2021). Paperback with French flaps, 135+ photos and illustrations, Index, Bibliog., 288 pages, 9 x 11 inches, £19.95 / $29.95

Publisher: Firefly (US, Canada, UK, worldwide); ISBN-10: 0228103290; ISBN-13: 978-0-2281-0329-5

Chinese translation rights were sold in 2022.

Selected Reviews, Prizes & Distinctions

Outstanding Book of the Year Award – American Society of Journalists & Authors, Inc., NY

Selection, Book-of-the-Month Club, USA

Best Books for Christmas, Globe and Mail, Toronto

“There’s no end to the ocean’s mystery. Earth’s 336-million cubic miles of ocean is richly inhabited, and Creatures of the Deep is a magnificent bestiary of that watery world.” — Popular Science

“Combines dramatic photographs with extraordinary tales of undersea life…Startling facts abound, and Hoyt’s enthusiasm for his subject shows on every page.” — Publishers Weekly, New York

“Elegant writing…stunning photographs. The cover is like a jack-o-lantern of the deep.” — American Scientist

“Creatures of the Deep expands and updates the prize-winning first edition of 2001. Much has happened in ocean science since then, and Erich Hoyt captures the excitement and beauty of recent advances. With lavish photos and engaging, accurate prose, he takes readers on a journey of wonder through the ocean’s layers and around the planet, shedding light on extraordinary lives. The deeper you go, the less we know — only a few hundred of the thousands of species that live in the abyss have been photographed. Hoyt’s book showcases why we must do more to safeguard life in the sea.” — Review by Callum Roberts, Professor of Marine Conservation, York University, and author The Unnatural History of the Sea, in BBC Wildlife Magazine, March 2015

Creatures of the Deep has the external appearance of a beautiful coffee-table book, but internally offers much more. It resembles two previous works: The Deep, edited by Clair Nouvian (2007) and Into the Deep by Karsten Schneider and Peter Batson (2008), both primarily picture books with good photography. However, Hoyt’s work offers a knowledgeable narrative to accompany the excellent illustrations. In addition to its visual appeal, this work has considerable academic value. Highly Recommended.***” — Review in Choice, April 2015

“Erich Hoyt reminds us that humanity has been terrified and fascinated by the deepest oceans for a very long time. Until fairly recently, this was a hidden realm that inspired fantastical tales but over the past few decades our understanding of an astonishing environment has expanded in countless ways. We have grown accustomed to tales of bioluminescent fish and creatures that can live happily in the absurdly high temperatures produced by hydrothermal vents. It would, however, be a great shame if we ever took all this for granted. The intricacies of evolutionary adaptation and the sheer weirdness of some of the denizens of the deep ought to inspire wonderment. Hoyt’s book, in this updated and expanded edition, is sure to snap even the most jaded nature watcher out of complacency.

“Hoyt takes us on a journey. We begin in a place where there is still a little light and we end up in an ocean-scape of pitch-black darkness, where the pressure per-square-inch is simply mind boggling. The pictures are stunning, the prose is clean, and you will gain a renewed sense of admiration for the scientists who are exploring this bewildering territory. One of the book’s greatest strengths is that it reports back from the front lines of research. New species are discovered all the time but, as Hoyt notes, this only makes our careless stewardship of the oceans more tragic. If you are in the mood for stories about clams that live for centuries or imaginary treks along vast underwater mountain ranges then this book will hold great appeal. It offers case studies of a wide range of creatures – from squid to whales to jellyfish – and the images are likely to haunt both your dreams and your nightmares. There is exquisite beauty down below, but also a rich array of monsters. Hoyt brings learning and passion to the task of unveiling the most bizarre habitat on the planet.”  — Jonathan Wright, Geographical Magazine, Feb. 2015

Reviewed in the Toronto Globe and Mail‘s Christmas gift book guide — “Best 100 books: Accompanied by stunning photographs of little-known creatures … the detailed but highly readable text traces a history of myths and discoveries of the oceans.”

“This book is a rich underwater feast for your eyes and your mind. Hoyt’s deft interweaving of biological facts and stories of deep-sea exploration will transfix you as surely as the blue marble stare of the vampire squid. A treasure chest…the eerie beauty of life found in the dark ocean will stay with you long after the lid is shut.” — The Good Book Guide, London

“With good science and history and a clear, fresh voice, Erich Hoyt guides the reader straight down the ocean to the bottom and least known part of Earth.” — E.O. Wilson, Harvard Univ. professor & twice Pulitzer Prize winner

“A brisk history of deep sea research … as engagingly descriptive as he is instructive, Hoyt takes readers on an extensive tour through the underwater zones … Teen science buffs will enjoy the photographs and Hoyt’s animation and clarity.” — Donna Seaman, Booklist

“Erich Hoyt, an award-winning science writer, gives readers an amazing tour of the ocean world…in this fascinating book. He examines former and current sea monsters which dwell at various depths of the ocean. His purpose is to dispel misconceptions and turn these monsters into animals worthy of humans’ respect, patient curiosity and admiration. This book has several strengths: the text provides a wealth of interesting information; the colour photographs are no less than fabulous, affording readers a glimpse into the murky ocean world; and, perhaps, most important of all, Hoyt’s obvious passion for the ocean and the myriad life forms it harbors comes through loud and clear. Highly Recommended.” — Gail Hamilton, Canadian Materials

“Hoyt … shares his enthusiasm for and knowledge about the extraordinary creatures of the deep sea …[The book has a] knowledgeable and accessible approach to marine life and high quality photography.” — Mary Nickum, Library Journal


Author’s Note
Part One
Down Through the Layers
The Layers of the Sea
Surface Waters: The Epipelagic Zone
Middle Waters: The Mesopelagic Zone
Deep Waters: The Bathypelagic Zone
Deeper Waters: The Abyssopelagic Zone
Deepest Waters: The Hadal Zone
Part Two
A Fish-Eat-Fish World
Planktonic Dramas
The Cosmopolitan Copepod
Jellyfish: Biding Time
Big Sharks: The Plankton-Strainers
Dancing with Squid
Big Sharks: The Flesh-Eaters
Killer Whale vs. Shark
Down Deep with Dragonfish
The Web
Part Three
Trekking Down the Ridge
The Longest Mountain Chain in the World
The World Ocean Floor
Creatures in the Sulfur Garden
Farther Along the Ridge and Back in Time
Black Smokers and New Life-Forms
Life Among the Archaeans
Part Four
Counting the Citizens of the Sea
The Census of Marine Life
Finding a Place for Ocean Citizens to Live
Deciding on the Kind of Ocean We Want or Life Among the Jellyfish

For signed copies or quantity discounts, click here, or go to Books are also available on the various independent and other book sites, including and from independent book stores.

A few signed copies of the first edition, which has different photographs from the 2nd edition, are still available.  I also have a few copies of the hardcover 2nd edition.

For more information, contact me here.