A team of scientists aboard the NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer have mounted a unique crowd-sourced exploration of the largely unknown deep sea off the coast of Puerto Rico.
The first two legs of their 52-day expedition were spent mapping the uncharted seafloor. In April, during the mission’s third and final leg, the scientists’ focus shifted to better understanding deep-sea ecosystems and found several creatures so new to us, they don’t even have names. In a total of twelve dives, they saw 100 species of fish, 50 species of deepwater corals and hundreds of other invertebrates, many of which had never been seen in their natural habitat.
To get this amazing footage the team sent their ROV down to depths over 20,000 feet, the deepest dives ever conducted in the region. It gathered data and recorded video that the scientists streamed online. The video (above) is breathtaking.
Yesterday the Okeanos Explorer has pulled into San Francisco and will use the time in port to complete some alongside repairs as well as process and clean data more of this amazing data. [Via Quartz]