Archive for the ‘Exploration’ Category
The Galapagos archipelago is located at a point where major ocean currents come together, mingling nutrient rich cool waters from the south, warm currents from the north, and a deep cold current from the west. This convergence of ocean currents has combined flora and fauna from contrasting environments, and given rise to unique marine species.
Nearly 20% of marine life in Galapagos is endemic, found nowhere else on earth. This level of endemism is rare for marine species, which tend to migrate and intermingle to a much larger degree than terrestrial (land-based) species.
Galapagos is one of the only places where pelagic species (species that live neither close to the bottom of the ocean nor near the shore) such as tunas, manta rays, and hammerhead sharks can be seen close to shore. No other site in the world showcases such a diversity of marine life forms.
Fascinating video from The History Channel. Located in the middle of The Pacific, The Marianas Trench is the deepest oceanic spot on earth, with its depth estimated to be over seven miles! Discoveries from this unique underwater world will revolutionize our understanding of the forces that shape not just the trench but the Earth itself.
Counting Fish – Underwater Research in Sudanese Red Sea
In this fascinating video, marine biologist Alex Kattan discusses his research onboard DonQuesto in the deep southern waters of the Sudanese Red Sea – where reefs are regarded to be the local benchmark for healthy coral reef environment.
Alex counts tropical fish and explores pristine reefs in order to evaluate Sudan´s extraordinary underwater world – where fishing and diving is not as common as in other places of the Red Sea, unlike many memorable encounters with amazing sea creatures.
In a remote corner of the South Pacific, National Geographic Explorer Enric Sala — one of the world’s leading marine ecologists — leads an elite team into an isolated underwater Eden. Sharks reign in the southern Line Islands, where humans rarely visit and survival is still of the fittest. Completing a daring survey of life on the reef from the micro to the mega, the research team uncovers secrets in what could be the last unspoiled archipelago on Earth.
Covering nearly 3,300 kilometres on the 30-day expedition, the team faces a host of dangers — exposed to powerful currents and huge waves. What they find calls into question everything we know about a healthy reef ecosystem.
Along the journey, they find over three times as much coral as any other reef in the Indo-Pacific on Flint Island. Surrounding Malden Island — the test site of three nuclear bombs in 1958 — the team finds a reef exploding with life and ten times more sharks than any other studied reef on the planet. Millennium Atoll offers a surprising refuge for blacktip reef sharks while Starbuck Island has the second largest biomass of any reef ever studied.
In the deepest, darkest parts of the oceans are ecosystems with more diversity than a tropical rainforest. Taking us on a voyage into the ocean — from the deepest trenches to the remains of the Titanic — marine biologist David Gallo explores the wonder and beauty of marine life.
Lesson by David Gallo, animation by TED-Ed.
Facinating video that explores the discovery and understanding of marine symbionts that may provide novel sources of new drugs: with Scripps Institutions’ Margo Haygood.
The deep sea was long considered a barren place, devoid of sunlight and inhospitable to life. Now, scientists are witnessing how deep sea volcanoes can support oases of astounding creatures. These oases hold clues to how life might exist elsewhere in the universe, and to how life itself may have begun on Earth. At the heart of these systems lie “black smoker” chimneys, towering structures which spew acidic and scalding water heated by volcanoes beneath the ocean floor. These seemingly hostile environments are teeming with exotic life. Join NOVA on an expedition which journeys to this remote realm to first capture extraordinary imagery, and then, in an exceptional feat of deep sea engineering, lifts from the depths several of these giant chimneys and the life they harbor. The massive structures now offer scientists an unprecedented chance to reveal the secrets of deep sea volcanoes—how life can thrive in eternal darkness, and even how life itself originated. From the PBS seies “Nova”
One of the biggest challenges scientists face when studying the ocean is observing the interplay between physical processes and biology in fine detail. In this video, Jules Jaffe, a research oceanographer in Scripps’ Marine Physical Laboratory, describes his latest scheme to uncover these processes with swarms of inexpensive, miniaturized robotic floats that travel with currents, sense the environment and report their findings back to us
Marine Energy Technology: Waves and Currents
Do the world’s oceans hold the keys to our future global energy needs? In the fascinating video above, Margot Gerritsen, associate professor of Energy Resource Engineering at Stanford University, discusses the viability of marine energy technology as a way to harness the vast potential of commercial oceanic energy resources.
Ocean of Robots
In this TedX video presentation above, astronaut, oceanic researcher, and robotics pioneer Ed Lu explains the vast potential for the use of oceanic robots to achieve advanced weather and climate forcasting, marine protective reserve monitoring, coral reef conservation, national security and defense applications, and other beneficial goals.
A U.S. based company called Liquid Robotics®, is an ocean data services provider and developer of the Wave Glider®, the world’s first wave powered, autonomous marine robot. This persistent and versatile platform for ocean science and exploration breaks the economic and risk barriers to ocean data collection. The Wave Glider enables game changing scientific discoveries to help us address the biggest challenges our world faces, including global climate change, national security, hurricane & tsunami warning, and offshore energy & resource management.
In November 2012, Liquid Robotics announced the first Pacific Crossing (PacX) Wave Glider, “Papa Mau”, completed its 9,000 nautical mile (16,668 kilometers) scientific journey across the Pacific Ocean to set a new world record for the longest distance traveled by an autonomous robotic vehicle. Throughout his journey, Papa Mau navigated along a prescribed route under autonomous control collecting and transmitting unprecedented amounts of high-resolution ocean data never before available over these vast distances or timeframes. The Company is providing open access to this data as part of its PacX Challenge, a global competition seeking new ocean applications and research using the PacX data set.