Scientists are searching the last unexplored terrain on Earth, where strange creatures are hiding that have never been seen by the eye of man. Where is this??Down deep in the ocean. “We know more about the dark side of the moon than we do about the ocean’s floor,” says Paul Cain, a volunteer diver at the Monterey Bay Aquarium in California. “And that’s because in some ways it’s easier to get to the moon than to the ocean’s floor.”
It?s too far down for explorers to travel, since it?s too cold and the water pressure is too great for humans to survive. So they send robots armed with video tape instead, hoping to pick up glimpses of one of these mystery creatures.
One area of exploration is the Davidson Seamount, which is out beyond California’s Monterey Bay and as deep and as big as the Grand Canyon. Scientists are hunting monsters that live 4,000 feet beneath the surface, on the slopes of an underwater volcano that goes another 8,000 feet deep.
The explorers used a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) which was controlled from a nearby ship. The ROV can go 13,000 feet deep. It can shoot video and even collect live specimens with its mechanical arm.
Researchers at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute are trying to spot what they call ?the mystery mollusk.? It?s a bit like a jellyfish, except it has an orange blob in the middle which could be a brain or a heart?they don?t know which.
Another strange denizen of the deep is a halosaur. Only 3 have ever been photographed before this voyage. Then there?s a sea toad, which is a puffy, spiny fish that appears to have lips. The expedition has also discovered coral forests rising 12 feet tall and living sponges the size of small automobiles.
“Every time you came to the top of one of these ridges, it was like you felt like a kid on Christmas morning,” says Dr. Randy Kochevar, the outreach coordinator of the mission. “It was really fun. It was an amazing experience.”
To learn more about the underwater expedition,click here.
See June 17 news story, ?Giant Beast May Be Hiding Underwater?,click here.
John Michael Greer has seem some mighty strange things lurking about. Read all about them in ?Monsters?,click here.
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