Thursday, April 16, 2015

A very deep encounter

Dr. Robert Ballard and his team are currently engaged in the 2015 Nautilus Expedition, described as follows:

In 2015, Dr. Robert Ballard’s Exploration Vessel E/V Nautilus and its Corps of Exploration will embark on their most ambitious expedition season yet, exploring sites ranging from the Gulf of Mexico to British Columbia through late September. Over six weeks of the six-month expedition will be dedicated to exploration and mapping of the Galapagos Rift and the site of the first hydrothermal vent discovery in 1977. The six-month-long 2015 season marks the transition of the vessel and operations of the Ocean Exploration Trust (OET) to the west coast of the United States and the Pacific Ocean, concluding over two years of research in the Gulf and Caribbean regions.

There's more at the link.

Earlier this month, while diving in the Gulf of Mexico, one of Nautilus' remotely operated vehicles had an unexpected encounter 1,962 feet below the surface.  Watch the video in full-screen mode for best results.

Isn't that absolutely cool?  I didn't know that sperm whales entered the Gulf of Mexico at all.



Old NFO said...

Neat pics, and whales ARE curious animals...

Paul, Dammit! said...

Bob Ballard is kind of a dick, but a dynamic personality. I used to work at the same facility, and he never really got much respect, being known as a fundraiser more than a scientist. I found him supremely egotistical, but interesting.