Right now, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s ship Okeanos Explorer is exploring the deep waters in and around the Marianas Trench, located in the western Pacific Ocean — and researchers are broadcasting the journey via livestream.
This is the deepest part of the world’s oceans, reaching more 36,000 feet at the lowest point. And these deep waters are full of strange and mysterious creatures, including extreme life forms that can live on and around underwater volcanoes and hydrothermic vents.
More people have been to space than have explored the deepest depths of the ocean, so scientists still have much to learn about what exactly happens so far below the surface of the sea.
At certain times there’s more to see than others. There are parts of this area of the sea that are mostly dark and mysterious. But previous missions exploring deep waters have revealed life forms never before seen.
“[W]e expect to explore bottomfish habitats, new hydrothermal vent sites, mud volcanoes, deep-sea coral and sponge communities, and seamounts, as well as subduction zone and trench areas,” the NOAA mission plan states.
The Okeanos Explorer will be gathering footage and streaming from the Trench through July 10. You can also always rewind the cameras up to four hours to catch up on what you’ve missed — this is a great background stream for a unique escape from your desk.
Certain cameras show data; others show the world outside the ship. At a lucky moment you might catch a glimpse of an alien-like creature.
Earlier this week, the team captured footage of a never-before-seen jellyfish that looks like some sort of space-spider, with glowing bulbs in its body.
Here are the streams from the three cameras aboard the vessel, each with a different view:
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