The Okeanos science team comes across a rocky outcrop, and discovers a huge abundance of animals that are usually around gas seeps or methane seeps.
The NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer is exploring the Gulf of Mexico for the entire month of April. From the first splash of remotely operated vehicle D2, the discoveries have been truly amazing.
Within a very narrow range of special depths, temperatures and chemical compositions, the conditions can be just right for a spectacular chemical reaction. Once released, methane bubbles from below the seabed can become frozen and suspended in structures of ice. Confused? It’s a tough one to explain. (The video clip will help.) These methane bubbles can be “trapped” in cage-like crystal structures within the ice, called methane hydrate or methane ice. Methane hydrates are very interesting. In the Gulf of Mexico, sites like this are potential sources of highly concentrated energy, naturally occurring thousands of meters below the surface of our ocean. The future for these deeply fascinating areas are unknown. One obvious statement though: they are breathtaking.
Watch below and experience this wonderful discovery with the science team.
The E/V Nautilus team is surprised by a curious visitor. Maybe it was attracted by the lights, the noise, or the electrical signals of the vehicle. Whatever it was that brought this deep-sea charismatic megafauna into view is unknown. What we do know is that it’s just plain old cool!
During the 2013 season the E/V Nautilus ventured to Puerto Rico, with some high hopes for exploration. As expected, we found an abundant population of lionfish: an invasive and problematic species in the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico. Check out this awesome footage of lionfish in Mona Passage off the coast of Desecheo Island, and see how they interact with some of the indigenous species.
While diving in the Gulf of Mexico, the E/V Nautilus crew observed this majestic octopus as it was gliding through the ocean. Octopi are highly evolved members of the mollusk family, and are capable of many incredible things – this octopus put on a dance for the ROV!
In this Moment Of Discovery, the E/V Nautilus crew discovers an acorn worm on the sea floor. Acorn worms are actually in their own scientific class, and are very interesting animals to observe in the wild.
We find all sorts of creatures when we explore the deep ocean. Depending on the depth and the location of the dive, we can see a variety of creatures. We have seen octopi, corals, fish, to sharks and unknown species. One of the main reasons for ocean exploration is to study the biology of the ocean.
What’s an ROV? An ROV is a remotely operated vehicle used by research teams as a submersible.
ROVs are tethered to ships. They are controlled by a remote either on ship or land. They are powered by the ship. For the purpose of ocean exploration, the ROVs we use have high definition video cameras that record the live streaming video.
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