NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research
During Saturday’s Okeanos Explorer dive in Washington Canyon, we saw a wide array of fascinating critters, such as this beautiful hydromedusa. Many Hydromedusae have red-tinted stomachs to camouflage any bioluminescence exhibited by their prey. Cool, huh? We’re keeping an eye on the weather for today’s dive — it’s looking iffy. If things are a go, we’ll be exploring a seep site, launching mid to late afternoon. We’ll keep you posted! (Check out updates from the expedition so far: NOAA)

During Saturday’s Okeanos Explorer dive in Washington Canyon, we saw a wide array of fascinating critters, such as this beautiful hydromedusa. Many Hydromedusae have red-tinted stomachs to camouflage any bioluminescence exhibited by their prey. Cool, huh?

We’re keeping an eye on the weather for today’s dive — it’s looking iffy. If things are a go, we’ll be exploring a seep site, launching mid to late afternoon. We’ll keep you posted!

(Check out updates from the expedition so far: NOAA)

Fascinating Biology Off the Haitian Coast

While exploring the area off of Haiti, Navassa Island has proved to hold a wide range of interesting sea life. From sea cucumbers and sponges, to multicolored fish, the waters here are teeming with life.

The ROVs have been busy collecting rock, coral, water, and push core samples, and even though this journey may be focused on geology, the biology never ceases to fascinate the scientist. Here are some of the creatures we have seen in the last few dives of the Windward Passage leg of the expedition.

(via: Nautilus Live)

images: Sea Urchin, Anemone, Pelagic Swimming Sea Cucumber, Glass Sponge, and Sea Pig (Ocean Exploration Trust)

Ocean Exploration Trust)
Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI)
By studying deep-sea lava formations, MBARI’s submarine volcanism lab hopes to gain insight into potentially destructive eruptions on land or in shallow water. This image was taken with ROV Doc Ricketts’ video camera on the 2011 lava flow at Axial Volcano on the Juan de Fuca Ridge. It is the collapsed roof over a drained channel on the flow. There are living bacterial mat and hydrothermal clays on the lava flow surface.  For more information about MBARI’s Submarine Volcanism Project:
MBARI - Vulcanism

By studying deep-sea lava formations, MBARI’s submarine volcanism lab hopes to gain insight into potentially destructive eruptions on land or in shallow water. This image was taken with ROV Doc Ricketts’ video camera on the 2011 lava flow at Axial Volcano on the Juan de Fuca Ridge. It is the collapsed roof over a drained channel on the flow. There are living bacterial mat and hydrothermal clays on the lava flow surface.

For more information about MBARI’s Submarine Volcanism Project:

MBARI - Vulcanism

First Video of Living and Enormous Deep Sea Crustacean

Well, enormous for an Amphipod…

by Sandrine Ceurstemont

Living in one of the Earth’s deepest ocean trenches, the world’s largest species of amphipod has so far managed to avoid the videos of the paparazzi. But during an expedition to the Kermadec trench off the coast of New Zealand in April, Alan Jamieson from the University of Aberdeen, UK, and his colleagues filmed a living Alicella gigantean for the first time, more than 7 kilometres below the ocean surface.

The video captures a feeding frenzy of deep-sea snailfish, Notoliparis kermadecensis sociable fish that are well-adapted to the extreme pressure, total darkness and cold temperatures at such depths.

Cruising along the left-hand side of the video, the white shrimp-like creature is the newly spotted Alicella gigantea. It is between 20 and 25 centimetres long, 10 times larger than similar amphipods discovered in other deep-sea locations – although Jamieson previously snapped, but did not video, an even bigger one – a 34-centimetre giant…

(read more: New Scientist)

NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research
Here’s a fun Octopus fact:  You could say that octopods are royalty, since they literally have blue blood. Octopus blood contains the copper-rich protein hemocyanin, which is more efficient than the hemoglobin in our blood for oxygen transport at very low temperatures and low-oxygen concentrations. Long live the queen (or king)! (This purple octopus with was seen during the NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer Galápagos Rift Expedition 2011 - via: NOAA Ecan Explorer)

Here’s a fun Octopus fact:  You could say that octopods are royalty, since they literally have blue blood. Octopus blood contains the copper-rich protein hemocyanin, which is more efficient than the hemoglobin in our blood for oxygen transport at very low temperatures and low-oxygen concentrations. Long live the queen (or king)!

(This purple octopus with was seen during the NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer Galápagos Rift Expedition 2011 - via: NOAA Ecan Explorer)

The cock-eyed squid, Histioteuthis heteropsis, gets its name from the different sized eyes it has. It is thought that the larger eye is specialized to detect bioluminescence. The spots all over the squid’s skin are photophores - or light organs - perhaps used to mask its silhouette from predators and prey.
You can download more free wallpapers like this from the Monterey Bay Aquarium: here 
(via: Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute)

The cock-eyed squid, Histioteuthis heteropsis, gets its name from the different sized eyes it has. It is thought that the larger eye is specialized to detect bioluminescence. The spots all over the squid’s skin are photophores - or light organs - perhaps used to mask its silhouette from predators and prey.

You can download more free wallpapers like this from the Monterey Bay Aquarium: here

(via: Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute)

Science Friday:  Oarfish - The Ultimate Fish Tale

Thought to the be inspiration of “sea serpent” stories, the monstrously-long Oarfish provokes wonder in nearly all that witness it. Yet despite our fascination, little is known about this fish, its lifecycle and how it navigates its deep-sea environment. With help of a frozen specimen, CalState Assistant Professor Misty Paig-Tran provides us with a biomechanist insights into this real-life “sea monster’s” unusual physiology.

(via: SciFri)

NOAA:  Close encounters of the crabby kind! 
Squat lobster, seen in 2011 during the Okeanos Explorer Galápagos Rift Expedition.  In 1977, scientists discovered deep-sea hydrothermal vents and associated organisms on the Galápagos Rift, profoundly changing our view of the deep sea and revolutionizing the biological and Earth sciences. Our 2011 expedition provided scientists, engineers, and the public with an opportunity to explore unseen areas and revisit the rift sites that changed our view of life on Earth. Here’s a summary of all that was accomplished: 
NOAA Ocean Explorer

NOAA:  Close encounters of the crabby kind!

Squat lobster, seen in 2011 during the Okeanos Explorer Galápagos Rift Expedition.

In 1977, scientists discovered deep-sea hydrothermal vents and associated organisms on the Galápagos Rift, profoundly changing our view of the deep sea and revolutionizing the biological and Earth sciences. Our 2011 expedition provided scientists, engineers, and the public with an opportunity to explore unseen areas and revisit the rift sites that changed our view of life on Earth.

Here’s a summary of all that was accomplished:

NOAA Ocean Explorer