Plankton are incredibly tiny creatures who sometimes look like microscopic glass snowflakes, drifting through the ocean's water column. But they are actually among the most important life forms in the ocean. This short video introduces you to them, and gives you a look at their mysterious life cycles.

This video is part of KQED's Deep Look series, and reveals a world that is almost invisible — and yet is ubiquitous throughout the ocean. Because plankton are at the bottom of the food chain, every creature in the ocean depends on them to survive. And sometimes, as you'll see, a huge plankton bloom sets off a frenzy ...


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