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Seafloor Fault Expedition 2018 – Log 5

MBARI’s ROVs only rarely come across anglerfishes, but even short glimpses give us valuable insight into the natural history of these mysterious fishes. Video of an unidentified whipnose anglerfish (Gigantactis sp.) captured by the ROV Doc Ricketts suggests it may troll the seafloor for food. We spotted this angler sculling along upside down, dangling its long fishing pole hoping for a bite from the mud below. Learn more about the whipnose anglerfish. Image: © 2018 MBARI

Seafloor Fault Expedition 2018 – Log 5

In the last two weeks aboard the R/V Western Flyer, we’ve spent 24 ROV dives cruising across the seafloor offshore Southern California, collecting sediment cores. Much of the seafloor we have surveyed is flat, muddy, and brown. So, one can imagine the eruption of excitement when we see a cool deep-sea animal. More notable organisms we’ve seen are a rare whipnose angler fish, a huge sleeper shark, and the elusive vampire squid. On one dive we came upon a very large group of crabs. What they were doing all together, we don’t know. We’ve also come across less exciting sights on the seafloor. One thing we are seeing a lot of is trash. Whether dumped over the side of a boat or washed out to sea by rivers and wave action, we are sad to report, there is far too much trash in the deep sea.

About Seafloor Fault Expedition 2018

September 14 to October 2, 2018 – MBARI's Geological Changes group is studying submarine channels and seafloor faults offshore of Southern California.