the base of the ocean esp of this deep oceans
- an area like the base regarding the ocean while the littoral areas
- organisms (flowers and creatures) that live at or close to the bottom of a sea
"life forms of the deep ocean and water flooring," 1891, coined by Haeckel from Greek benthos "depth of ocean," pertaining to bathos "depth," bathys "deep," that is of not known source. Adjective benthic is attested from 1902.
The great majority of algae, however, grow like land-plants attached to a substratum, and to these the term benthos is now generally applied.