Last time we checked in, the Okeanos Explorer was only just getting underway. For a quick refresher, the expedition is using remote controlled underwater rovers to do deep-sea exploration in marine protected areas of the Pacific Ocean. They’ve spent over 100 hours underwater, at depths of up to 3 miles!
After a brief interruption to the proceedings for your standard come-to-the-rescue mission to save stranded monk seal researchers from a tropical storm (and to do some repairs), they launched again over the weekend for Leg 4 of the exploration.
Enough backstory, let’s check out some of the amazing footage the team has captured so far!
Water You Waiting For?
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This is a brisingid asteroid, a type of starfish named after the necklace worn by the Norse god Freya.
There’s a lot going on in these next photos. They show corals and sponges wrapped with brittle star starfish, sea lilies, crustaceans, and jellyfish.
They also found all sorts of beautiful coral unmolested by other creatures. These are some of the largest and oldest sea corals known.
And then there is the strange, like this squat lobster (actually related to hermit crabs):
Or this stalked sponge:
Or this starfish turning its guts inside-out to eat a coral!
We’ll leave you with some fascinating videos of underwater locomotion.