Moseley's zoology lab and workroom was just below the upper deck. Here he examined and stored creatures brought back from the ocean by dredge, trawl, or surface net. They were kept in jars, preserved in "spirits of wine" which was probably pure alcohol.
The Challenger expedition led to the discovery and description of 4,417 previously unknown species.
In this lab, analysis of water samples showed that life is plentiful in many surface waters, but the plants and animals are often so small they can only be seen with the magnifying lens of a microscope. Samples of seafloor sediments, the materials that collect on the ocean bottom, revealed microscopic skeletons of the same sea life that lived in the surface waters above. Before the Challenger cruise, 600 species of radiolaria (microscopic animals with silica skeletons) were known. The expedition collected and identified 3,508 new species.
"At first, when the dredge came up, every man and boy who could possibly slip away, crowded 'round it, to see what had been fished up...Gradually, as the novelty of the thing wore off, the crowd became smaller and smaller, until at last only the scientific staff, and perhaps one or two other officers besides the one on duty, awaited the arrival of the net on the dredging bridge."
Henry Nottidge Moseley