July 7, 2022
MBARI’s mission is to advance science and technology to understand the changing ocean. Exploration is critical to that objective. We use a suite of robotic devices to survey ocean ecosystems, but our remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) are one of the most important tools in our kit. The high-resolution cameras on our ROVs give us a closer look at life in the ocean’s inky depths.
MBARI has been exploring the deep waters off the coast of Central California for more than three decades. Our ROVs Ventana and Doc Ricketts have logged more than 5,800 dives and recorded approximately 28,000 hours of video to date. This video archive also contains more than 8.5 million data annotations, including animal observations and environmental conditions. These data are invaluable for scientists at MBARI and beyond who seek to unlock the mysteries of the deep.
We never know what we will see on a dive into the depths. Our scientists, engineers, and ROV pilots are constantly amazed by the beauty of the deep-sea animals and habitats we encounter. MBARI’s Fresh from the Deep series provides an opportunity for the public to look over the shoulders of our scientists and peek at our latest deep-sea discoveries. These video highlights can be viewed on our YouTube and social media channels.
Since the Fresh from the Deep series debuted last summer, we have featured some of our most surprising encounters—an elusive whalefish, a ghostly giant jelly, a barreleye fish with a transparent head, a curious strawberry squid, and a beautifully bronze dragonfish. Our latest video features the deep-sea squid Bathyteuthis. We have observed this small squid just a dozen times, and this marks only our second observation of its unique brooding behavior.
Each chance encounter logged by MBARI’s ROVs provides another piece to the ocean puzzle and helps improve our understanding of life in the largest living space on Earth. The Fresh from the Deep series also supports MBARI’s vision to make ocean exploration more accessible and inclusive. By sharing our fascinating finds on YouTube and social media, we seek to inspire a new generation of ocean explorers.
Article by Raúl Nava
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