Environment

Scientists to Livestream Deep Sea Exploration

Watch and ask questions as researchers explore the ocean floor in real time

You might have heard that we know more about the surface of the moon than the bottom of the ocean. It’s true. More than 80% of the sea remains unseen. 

Scientists and engineers at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) are working to change that. Now, they’re inviting the public to join virtually. On June 30 at 11:00 am, a team from MBARI, the Monterey Bay Aquarium and the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary (MBNMS) will livestream video footage from a robotic submarine as they explore the deep.

MBARI marine operations staff launch the remotely operated vehicle (ROV) Doc Ricketts through the “moonpool” on the research vessel Western Flyer. ROV Doc Ricketts can dive to about 4,000 meters (13,000 feet) below the ocean surface. PHOTO: MBARI

The area, known as Sur Ridge, sits 37 miles from Monterey. It consists of 12 miles of underwater peaks and valleys thousands of feet below the surface.

The cold, dark, high-pressure environment supports a surprising amount of life. Some of the hundreds of species look familiar: octopuses and squids jet between neon yellow sponges and enormous, pink deep-sea corals. Others—such as translucent comb jellies that pulse with colorful light—look like inspiration for science fiction.

“This event is for anyone who loves the ocean and has dreamed of exploring its mysterious depths,” said MBARI Director of Communications and Strategic Initiatives Heidi Cullen in a press release. “It’s a chance to go behind the scenes with researchers and get a live, close-up view of the deep.”

The scientists will stream the expedition and answer viewers’ questions on MBARI’s Facebook, Twitter and YouTube pages as well as on MBARI.org. The “Live from the Deep” event will include American Sign Language and closed captioning in several languages.

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