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"The deep ocean is vast, dark, and so lacking in food that it’s called Earth’s biggest desert. Yet, somehow, extremely weird animals manage to call this hostile world home. How—and why—do they live there?" ― Information Tab


Lurking in the Dark is a limited time event which mainly focuses on Deep Sea Life. Like the Tech Tree of Life, this one features generators that produce its main currency per second, Nutrients. The event officially started on April 20th, 2023 (12 pm) and lasted until April 26th, 2023 (12 pm), but had several beta runs beforehand.

Story[]

Opening[]

"In the deep ocean, creatures live at the murky edge of existence. It is an immense void of darkness, cold, and scarcity. What can survive in these extremes?"

Ending[]

"By probing the outer limits of extreme survival, I see that life is surprisingly resilient. But that raises a new question: Where are the ultimate boundaries? In what other extremes can life take hold on Earth—and beyond?"

Objectives and Rewards[]

Explore Deep Sea Life (16 Requirements)

  1. Collect Sunlight Zone (25) (Rewards: 2 logits)
  2. Collect Sinking Detritus (1) (Rewards: 3 logits)
  3. Collect Making Light (1) (Rewards: Glow Up)
  4. Collect Twilight Zone (25), Sunlight Zone (85) (Rewards: 2 logits)
  5. Collect Oxygen Exploit (1) (Rewards: 4 logits)
  6. Collect Twilight Zone (100) (Rewards: 2 logits)
  7. Collect Snot Palace (1) (Rewards: 5 logits)
  8. Collect Sunlight Zone (200), Midnight Zone (40) (Rewards: 4 logits)
  9. Collect Nightly Migrations (1) (Rewards: 5 logits)
  10. Collect Collective Living (1) (Rewards: Stronger Together)
  11. Collect The Abyss (50), Sunlight Zone (250) (Rewards: 3 logits)
  12. Collect Whale Fall (1) (Rewards: 5 logits)
  13. Collect Sunlight Zone (300), The Trenches (10) (Rewards: 4 logits)
  14. Collect Upwelling (1) (Rewards: 8 logits)
  15. Collect The Abyss (150), Midnight Zone (200), Twilight Zone (300) (Rewards: 3 logits)
  16. Collect Earth's Lifeline (1) (Rewards: Circle of Life)

Generators[]

Icon Name Description First Cost Base Production Cost Multiplier
Sunlight Zone Sunlight Zone Sunlight defines the epipelagic zone, the top layer of open ocean. All marine plants live here. Surrounded by thousands of miles of brightly lit water, with nowhere to hide, animals need either speed or camouflage to catch food and avoid becoming food. What eats what? 30 1 1.13
Twilight Zone Twilight Zone From 200 to 1000 meter deep, the mesopelagic ("middle open ocean") appears dark to our eyes, but sunlight does reach here. Blue light, on the high-energy end of the color spectrum, reaches the deepest. In the twilight, how do animals see without being seen by enemies? 150,000 150 1.11
Midnight Zone Midnight Zone Ar 1,000 to 4,000 meters, the bathepelagic zones makes up 90% of the ocean and yet hosts only a fraction of its creatures. There's zero sunlight, crushing pressure, a near-freezing chill, and scant food — just 5% of the sinking detritus. Why live here at all? 1e12 3e7 1.15
The Abyss The Abyss Below 4,000 meters, the continental shelf bottoms out into an abyssal plain, the mostly bare ocean floor. It covers half of Earth's surface, and yet 99% of the abyss is unexplored. Scant detritus from above settles in the mud. How do abyssal zone creatures survive? 2e17 5e12 1.12
The Trenches The Trenches The ocean floor is scarred with troughs and trenches, cracks formed between tectonic plates. Below 6,000 meters, this hadal zone, named for the Greek god Hades, is nearly as deep as the four previous zones combined. Some life here is like nowhere else on Earth. 1e22 5e17 1.15

Upgrades[]

Sunlight Zone Efficiency[]

Icon Name More efficient(s) Description Type Costs
Microscopic Plants Microscopic Plants 10% Open ocean plants are all microscopic algae called phytoplankton — from drifting, single-celled diatoms to dinoflagellates that whip through water. They use sunlight to pull carbon from carbon dioxide and turn it into sugar, a nutrient that fuels growth. RESEARCH 75
Global Drifters Global Drifters 50% Algae drift far and wide on currents, waves, and tides. Along for the ride are zooplankton (microscopic animals) such as krill, copepods, and fish larvae. Because Earth's seawater is all connected, ocean drifters and the swimmers that eat them are similar everywhere. RESEARCH 250
Speedy Swimmers Speedy Swimmers 25% Swimmers in the sunlight zone tend to be blue or gray to blend in. Marlin and other apex predators are streamlined for speed and long-distance travel. They herd schools of fish into a tight, dense circle called a bait ball and then zoom through it to feed. RESEARCH 2 000
Whale Power Whale Power 25% Whales are massive beasts, thanks to the bounty of food here — and below. To small creatures, turbulent currents feel like a washing machine set on high, but bulky whales can power through the viscous liquid with ease. They're the deepest diving mammals. RESEARCH 12 000
Sinking Detritus Sinking Detritus 200% After eating phytoplankton or each other, animals excrete waste full of carbon, nitrogen, and other nutrients. This detritus sinks, along with shells, scales, molted skeletons, carcasses, and everything else that can't float. Remember the fact as we descend. GENERATOR 30 000
Related
Marine Snow Marine Snow 1000000% Only 20% of detritus from the sunlight zone makes it here. On the way down, it is eaten, expelled, and eaten again. Also called marine snow, the fraction of particles that do reach the bottom will take weeks to arrive — slightly faster if they clump together. RESEARCH 4,00 B
Snot Palace Snot Palace Twilight Zone 100%, Sunlight Zone 5000% Drifters that rely on food coming to them have to grab as much as they can. In less than an hour, giant Larvacea can build a sticky, meter-wide "snot palace" out of mucus. The many chambers and channels trap and filter detritus for the tadpole-sized resident. GENERATOR 300,00 B
Nighty Migrations Nightly Migrations 100000% A scarcity of food drives Earth's biggest migration. Each night, hordes of glowing jellies, squid, fish, and zooplankton rise to the surface to feed. Journeying to a predator-filled zone is exhausting and risky, but survivors return to inly-black safety before dawn. RESEARCH 20,00 T
Slow Living Slow Living 4000% With little to eat, midnight zone creatures are sluggish. Sleeper sharks swim to the surface each night, but at a top speed that's slower than a walk. The upside to a slow metabolism is longevity. Sleeper sharks live to at least 272 years, the longest of any vertebrate. RESEARCH 8,00 Qa
Whale Fall Whale Fall The Abyss 300%, Sunlight Zone 1E+07% A gift from above! One whale carcass can feed the famished abyss for years. First in are sleeper sharks, hagfish (slime eels), and rattails, then snow crabs, brittle stars, anomones, and others. Finally, hundreds of thousands of bone-eating worms reduce the skeleton to bits. GENERATOR 1,25 Sx
Upwelling Upwelling The Abyss 1000000%, Sunlight Zone 200% Far above, in the sunlight zone, wind pushes warm water away from shore toward the open ocean. Here in the abyss, a cold current rises to fill the space left by what water. This upwelling picks up and carries detritus — including the leftover bits of a dead whale. GENERATOR 175,00 Sp
Nutrient Express Nutrient Express Midnight Zone 1E+12%, Sunlight Zone 200% Detritus contains many vital nutrients: carbon (the base element of all life), nitrogen, hydrogen, oxygen, phospohorous, sulfur, and other minor chemicals. Nutrients allow life forms to digest food, grow, build shells, repair damage, breathe, and otherwise function. RESEARCH 400,00 Sp
Climate Control Climate Control Twilight Zone 1E+18%, Sunlight Zone 200% The rising cold current mixes with warm surface water while elsewhere, warm currents join cold ones. It takes a drop of water 1,000 years to travel the great ocean conveyor, a global loop of currents that moderates ocean temperatures — and Earth's entire climate. RESEARCH 1,25 Oc
Earth's Lifeline Earth's Lifeline 1E+09% Upwelled nutrients draw masses of surface life, which become prime fishing spots for sea and land creatures. Algae thrive, producing most of the oxygen in our atmosphere. Food, oxygen, and climate: The deep sea boosts the sunlight zone, which sustains all life on Earth. GENERATOR 8,00 Oc

Twilight Zone Efficiency[]

Icon Name More efficient Description Type Costs
Fish World Fish World 100% Air-breathing whales, seals, dolphins, and other mammals dive deep to feed. About 90% of the world's fish (by mass) live in this zone, where dimness offers them some cover. Quadrillions of small fish called bristlemouths are the most numerous vertebrate on the planet. RESEARCH 300 000
Making Light Making Light 100% Life that can glow is rare on land, but it's the rule in the dark sea. Up to 90% of deep dwellers are bioluminescent. Some have photophore glands in their skin that create light chemically, combining oxygen and luciferin. Other harbor glowing bacteria on their bodies. RESEARCH 2,15 M
Light as a Lure Light as a Lure 100% Anglerfish are named for their fishing rod — a glowing barbel, or feeler, that dangles over a gaping, toothy mouth. With their large eyes, squid and fish home in on that glow — usually the sign of a snack — but they can't see the dark hunter lurking behing. RESEARCH 17,50 B
Lurking Champion Lurking Champion 150% Most bioluminescence is blue, but the black dragonfish also emits a red glow that spotlights red prey, like a snaper scope. The hunter's eyes can detect red, but the prey's eyes cannot, which makes this top twilight predator a master lurker. It can see without being seen. RESEARCH 25,00 B
Hiding in Light Hiding in Light 100% Hatchetfish use light to hide. When seen from below, photophores lining the belly blend into the light above. Its huge yellow eyes can distinguish sunlight from bioluminescence, but enemy eyes can't. A skinny body profile also make the fish hard to see. RESEARCH 70,00 B
Alarm and Flash Bangs Alarm and Flash Bangs 200% Light can be a defense. Jellyfish put on a fireworks show to warn, "I taste bad and i sting!" Copepods drop a time-delayed "flash-bang" to allow for a getaway. When attacked, many prey species emit an alarm light to lure a second predator to eat the first one. RESEARCH 90,00 B
Oxygen Exploit Oxygen Exploit 200% Oxygen-poor can't sustain big predators. To exploit these safer areas, the vampire squid evolved oversized gills and blue blood that circulates oxygen well. It's the only cephalopod that can live its whole life in an oxygen minimum zone, eating mostly detritus. RESEARCH 2,00 B
Seeing Blue Seeing Blue 100% Twilight eyes are tuned to blue light. Phronima is a tiny hunter with two big eyes that peer far ahead and two side eyes that scan nearby. When it spies the blue glow of a salp plankton, it claws and chews out the salp's guts and uses the barrel remnant as a nursery. RESEARCH 8,00 M
Red is a New Black Red is a New Black 150% Red sunlight doesn't reach this deep, so the color appears black. Even a bright-red grouper blends into the dark, hidden from predators and able to sneak up on tasty crabs. Many transparent jellyfish have red stomachs to conceal the glowing prey they eat. RESEARCH 36,00 M
See-Through Bodies See-Through Bodies 150% In dim light, transparent bodies are invisible. Sea butterflies are snails that evolved see-through camouflage by ditching their shells and pigments. A single muscular foor for crawling became two flaps for swimming, each coated with a sticky mucus to snag detritus to eat. RESEARCH 115,00 M
Marine Snow Marine Snow Sunlight Zone 1000000% Only 20% of detritus from the sunlight zone makes it here. On the way down, it is eaten, expelled, and eaten again. Also callen marine snow, the fraction of particles that do reach the bottom will take weeks to arrive — slightly faster if they clump together. RESEARCH 4,00 B
Snot Palace Snot Palace Twilight Zone 100%, Sunlight Zone 5000% Drigters that rely on food coming to them have to grab as much as they can. In less than an hour, giant Larvacea can build a sticky, meter-wide "snot palace" out of mucus. The many chambers and channels trap and filter detritus for the tadpole-sized resident. GENERATOR 300,00 B
Related
Climate Control Climate Control Twilight Zone 1E+18%, Sunlight Zone 200% The rising cold current mixes with warm surface water while elsewhere, warm currents join cold ones. It takes a drop of water 1,000 years to travel the great ocean conveyer, a global loop of currents that moderates ocean temperatures — and Earth's entire climate. RESEARCH 1,25 Oc

Midnight Zone Efficiency[]

Icon Name More efficient Description Type Costs
Mammal Limit Mammal Limit 200% Whales dive deeper than any mammal. Their lungs can shrink to 1% of their size under water pressure, but even so, most bottom out at 2,000 meters. Cuvier's beaked whales hold two record: deepest dive at 2,992 meters and longest dive at 3 hours and 42 minutes. RESEARCH 3,00 T
Under Pressure Under Pressure 175% Water pressure is no problem for jellies, a general term for animals with boneless, squishy bodies. They collapse and expand to keep pressure balanced inside and out. Vertebrates like fish and whales have flexible bone or cartilage that bends under pressure. RESEARCH 3,00 T
Giant Eyes Giant Eyes 175% All the light in this zone comes from animals. So, to predators, every glow signals a meal. To detect light from afar, the world's largest invertebrate, the colossal squid, has the biggest eyes. They're the size of dinner plates. Colossal squid mostly eat other squid. RESEARCH 6,00 T
The Biggest Gulp The Biggest Gulp 100% Big meals are a rare treat, and midnight zone hunters take full advantage. Picture a brown balloon on a black string. That's what a gulper eel looks like when its toothless mouth supersizes to engulf prey. When the mouth deflates, the body reverts to a tube shape. RESEARCH 1,00 Qa
Giant Teeth Giant Teeth 200% To gobble a rare large meal, predators like viperfish and fangtooth fish have teeth so long that they can't close their oversized mouths. Fangtooths look fierce, but they're only about the size of a hand. Viperfish feed near the surface at night and can grow foot-sized. RESEARCH 6,00 Qa
Nighty Migrations Nighty Migrations Sunlight Zone 100000% A scarcity of food drives Earth's biggest migration. Each night, hordes of glowing jellies, squid, fish, and zooplankton rise to the surface to feed. Journeying to a predator-filled zone is exhausting and risky, but survivors return to inky-black safety before dawn. RESEARCH 20,00 T
Slow Living Slow Living Sunlight Zone 4000% With little to eat, midnight zone creatures are sluggish. Sleeper sharks swim to the surface each night, but at a top speed that's slower than a walk. The upside to a slow metabolism is longevity. Sleeper sharks live to at least 272 years, the longest of any vertebrate. RESEARCH 8,00 Qa
Extreme Mating Extreme Mating 200% Bio-light helps mates find each other — no easy feat in this immense void. To stay found, a male anglerfish fuses his tiny body onto a far larger female, feeding only on her blood. He'll spend his life fertilizing the eggs she expels and then die, still a part of her. RESEARCH 90,00 Qa
Collective Living Collective Living 200% Siphonophores live in colonies to pool survival skills. These chains of mixed jellies function like a floating city and can grow longer than a wale. Bell-shaped jellies provide propulsion, while polyps filter feed and reproduce. A gas-filled float controls buoyancy. RESEARCH 200,00 Qa
Related
Nutrient Express Nutrient Express Midnight Zone 1E+12%, Sunlight Zone 200% Detritus contains many vital nutrients: carbon (the base element of all life), nitrogen, hydrogen, oxygen, phospohorous, sulfur, and other minor chemicals. Nutrients allow life forms to digest food, grow, build shells, repair damage, breathe, and otherwise function. RESEARCH 400,00 Sp

The Abyss Efficiency[]

Icon Name More efficient Description Type Costs
Smell And Touch Smell And Touch 300% Abyssal creatures don't rely much on sight. Rattails have odor pits to sniff our carcasses. Tripod fish use extra-long, sensitive fins to feel for food. They sometimes perch atop three bony fins, facing the current, and swat passing prey into their mouths. RESEARCH 300,00 Qa
Electrical Sensors Electrical Sensors 300% Long-nosed chimaera, cousins to sharks, are the top abyssal predators. Dot-sized sensors along the large snout detect electrical fields created by the muscle movements of crustaceans and other small prey. As with sharks, their teeth never stop growing. RESEARCH 500,00 Qa
Benthic Desert Benthic Desert 200% In a food desert, mobility beats drifting aimlessly or anchoring to rocks and waiting for a meal. At extreme depths, sea cucumbers, brittle stars, sea lilies, urchins, and other benthic (bottom-dwelling) creatures need to swim or crawl to find food. RESEARCH 250,00 Qa
Whale Fall Whale Fall The Abyss 300%, Sunlight Zone 1E+07% A gift from above! One whale carcass can feed the famished abyss for years. First in are sleeper sharks, hagfish (slime eels), and rattails, then snow crabs, brittle stars, anomones, and others. Finally, hundreds of thousands of bone-eating worms reduce the skeleton to bits. GENERATOR 1,25 Sx
A Gathering Herd A Gathering Herd 225% Once urchins, sea stars, and other echinoderms find their kind in this lonely void, they stick together. Herds of sea cucumbers walk along the muddy bottom, grazing on nutrients. Most echinoderms reproduce by splitting in two. They regenerate the missing parts. RESEARCH 6,00 qi
Extreme Species Extreme Species 250% Deep-sea species are often extreme versions of shallow forms. The globural dumbo octopus has two floppy fins what look like ears. The fins help it hover over the bottom while stumpy, webbed tentacles search for food. The eyes are mostly useless, with no retina or lens. RESEARCH 65,00 qi
Lonesome Predator Lonesome Predator 175% The deepsea lizardfish is a benthic hunter that devours anything within reach — even its own kind. The mouth, tongue, and jaws all have fangs. With mates scarce — or apt to become dinner — this lonesome killer is a hermaphrodite, having both male and female organs. RESEARCH 400,00 qi

The Trenches Efficiency[]

Icon Name More efficient Description Type Costs
Hadal Extremes Hadal Extremes 400% Hadal snailfish, the deepest recorded living fish, have no scales, no photophores, and no air-filled swim bladder for buoyancy. A slimy goo keeps their pale-pink, transluscent bodies afloat. A species of cusk eel, a benthic fish, may live even deeper. RESEARCH 35,00 Sx
Hydrothermal Vents Hydrothermal Vents 300% At holes in Earth's crust, frigid seawater meets molten rock. Ir superheats and jets upward like a geyser, carrying a brew of minerals. Hot vents attract some 500 species, but they fizzle out within decades. Anything that can't drift or swim to a new home dies off. RESEARCH 50,00 Sx
Chemical Ecosystem Chemical Ecosystem 375% Chemicals, not sunlight, power the base of the vent's food web. Bacteria use energy fro hydrogen sulfide to turn carbon into sugar. Mussels eat bacteria; tube worms form symbiotic (win-win) partnerships with them. Crabs and octopuses are top predators. RESEARCH 250,00 Sx
Cold Seeps Cold Seeps 300% Cold seeps are vents where methane is a chemical engine for making sugar. This chemosynthesis is carried out by bacteria and a menagerie of one-celled microbes in the kingdom Archaea ("ancient"). Seeps are stable, and so ecosystems can last for centuries. RESEARCH 3,00 Sp
Briny Death Traps Briny Death Traps 200% Brine pools form in low spots on the sea floor. The water is so packed with salt that animals venturing into it die and get pickled. The small pools teem with extremophiles — microbes adapted to extreme conditions. Mussels living around the edges feed on bacteria. RESEARCH 25,00 Sp
Upwelling Upwelling The Abyss 1000000%, Sunlight Zone 200% Far above, in the sunlight zone, wind pushes warm water away from shore toward the open ocean. Here in the abyss, a cold current rises to fill the space left by what water. This upwelling picks up and carries detritus — including the leftover bits of a dead whale. GENERATOR 175,00 Sp

Badges[]

This event simulation holds some rewards already mentioned above. Three of those are the Glow Up, Stronger Together, and Circle of Life which have one effect on all other tech trees.

Lurking in the Dark Badges

Glow Up[]

"In the inky dark, creating light is just a first step. Using that glow to hunt or defend and to find mates is the key to survival."

Stronger Together[]

"In a harsh world, species team up to survive. Siphonophores are a model alliance of many creatures living as one."

Circle of Life[]

"Life supports life in one big, interconnected cycle. Even if it involves a lot of death."

Duration(s)[]

  • April 20th, 2023 (12 pm) — April 26th, 2023 (12 pm)
Explorations and Events
Season 1 E01-James Webb Telesope James Webb TelescopeE02-Fungi FungiE03-Philosophy PhilosophyE04-Mass Extinction Mass ExtinctionE05-Money MoneyE06-Pollination Pollination
Season 2 E07-Deep Sea Life Deep Sea LifeE08-Tea TeaE09-Music MusicE10-Human Body Human BodyE11-Visual Art Visual ArtE12-Outbreaks OutbreaksE13-Cats Cats
Special Events GhostsAugmentations Console
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