Ever wondered what the deepest part of the ocean looks like and what lives down there? We’ll you’re in luck. With the help of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), you’ll be able to explore just that.
A deep-sea anglerfish living within the pillow basalts. This fish is an ambush predator that waits for prey to be attracted by the lure before rapidly capturing them in one gulp with its large mouths. Photo credit: NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research, 2016 Deepwater Exploration of the Marianas
NOAA is in the middle of its 2016 Deep Water Exploration of the Marianas project, aimed at exploring areas of the Pacific Ocean never seen before, according to the project’s mission statement. Scientists will collect data on “bottomfish habitats, new hydrothermal vent sites, mud volcanoes, deep-sea coral and sponge communities, and seamounts, as well as subduction zone and trench areas.” Data collected during this project with provide “critical information for the development of management plans for Monument areas,” NOAA explains.
From May 20 to July 10, NOAA’s crew will focus on exploring and mapping the northern part of the Marianas Trench Marine National Monument.
This map shows the locations of the Mariana Trench (white dashed line), Volcanic Arc (yellow dashed line), and back-arc spreading center (red line) and remnant arc (black dashed line). Photo credit: NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research, 2016 Deepwater Exploration of the Marianas
The remotely operated underwater vehicles NOAA will be guiding through these unexplored parts can reach depths of 6,000 meters (that’s almost 4 miles) below the surface. That’s about eight of the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, stacked on top of each other.
Though most of the ocean floor is at the 6,000-meter level, the Marianas Trench can reach depths of 11,000 meters (that’s almost 7 miles) below the surface.
Photo credit: Discovery News
And if all of that isn’t cool enough already, you’ll be able to watch it all on live stream. Viewers of the live stream will witness fish species and areas of the ocean no one has ever seen before.
This Discovery News video provides more information about the fish you might see on the live stream:
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