The National Oceanic and Atomospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Okeanos Explorer treated us to another live stream, lighting up the depths of the Phoenix Canyon on a research dive. The mission is to explore deep-sea ecosystems of the Atlantic Ocean, and equipped with HD cameras, the NOAA’s remote Deep Discoverer (D2) provides some incredible footage.
In the dark at over 1000m in depth, there is still a myriad of life. Crabs, corals, and cephalopods were in abundance. Viewers were able to get immersed in the dive and feel the excitement when something fascinating was spotted. One of the first finds of note was a Graneledone octopus, most likely a female brooding her eggs (a commitment that can last up to 4 years!).
Various crabs and fish made appearances too, including chaceon and king crabs, and witch flounders – a flatfish well camouflaged against the sandy substrate.
Lucky viewers also witnessed predation in action, as a cutthroat eel attacked an unfortunate squid and clung on, finally disappearing into the cloud of disturbed sand with its prize.
Before the day’s mission wrapped up, one final treat was in store, as a nudibranch slowly cruised past a beautiful bobtail squid.
The stream was a wonderful experience, educational and inspirational. With experts discussing the live video, viewers were able to witness and learn about some remarkable life on the deep ocean floor.
An estimated 95% of the world’s oceans still remain unexplored, and research from the Okeanos will be invaluable. Keep an eye on their adventures and future streams for more chances to see marine life at incredible depths!
Note: All images are screen-grabs and all credit goes to the Okeanos Explorer team for the live streaming video from which they were captured.