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NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research

The 28 Wildest Photos From NOAA's Latest Deep-Sea Dive

See-through sea cucumbers, eels with googly eyes, insane-looking comb jellies and more!


The deep sea mostly remains a beautiful mystery, but thanks to the ever-growing submersible technology, we're getting more info all the time. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration ship Okeanos Explorer did just that in 2018 when a team of researchers captured footage deep in the waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

Now we can all look at the most stunning photos from the 2018 Gulf of Mexico deep-sea dives.

1. Feathery Coral

deep-sea photos NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research

2. Ice Worms

deep-sea photos NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research

3. This Blind Lobster on the Seafloor

deep-sea photos NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research

4. This Sea Cucumber That Was Captured Swimming

deep-sea photos NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research

5. This Beautiful but Deadly Brine Pool

deep-sea photos NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research

6. This Devastating Look at How Plastic Lives at Every Level of the Sea

deep-sea photos NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research

7. This Puzzling Squid

deep-sea photos NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research

Researchers don't know why this squid was contorted this way.

8. This Squat Lobster, Which Would Make for a Great Sequel to the Song "Rock Lobster"

deep-sea photos NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research

9. This Bright Purple Coral

deep-sea photos NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research

10. This Glimmering Bird Squid

deep-sea photos NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research

11. Glass Sponges Having a Super Rough Time

deep-sea photos NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research

In the above photo you can see it's being eaten.

12. And below, it's been infected by yellow parasitic creatures.

deep-sea photos NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research

Not a good day to be a glass sponge.

13. This Tiny Starfish That Is So Cute We Can't Even

deep-sea photos NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research

14. A Cusk Eel in the Sand

deep-sea photos NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research

15. This Funky Siphonophore

deep-sea photos NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research

16. This Resting Tripod Fish

deep-sea photos NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research

17. A Crab Chilling on a Shipwreck

deep-sea photos NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research

18. A See-Through Sea Cucumber

deep-sea photos NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research

19. A Frilly Goosefish 2,100 Feet Down

deep-sea photos NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research

20. A Small Jelly Floating Along

deep-sea photos NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research

21. Some Cool Starfish, Like This One With a Ton of Arms

deep-sea photos NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research

22. And This One Called a Mud Star

deep-sea photos NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research

23. This Octopus Hanging Out on a Wreck Site

deep-sea photos NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research

24. This Spiny Rockfish With a Beautiful Pink Pattern

deep-sea photos NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research

25. And This Bubblegum Coral That Matches the Fish

deep-sea photos NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research

26. This Comb Jelly With Super Long Tentacles

deep-sea photos NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research

27. This Brittle Star With Super Long, Spindly Arms

deep-sea photos NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research

28. And, the Eerie Wreckage of the Tugboat New Hope That Sunk in 1965

deep-sea photos NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research

All of this was uncovered in just a short period of research time, so there's no telling what the NOAA Okeanos crew will find next time they journey into the deep.

But it's bound to be cool.

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