Scientists capture rare footage of Australia’s deep sea

The Schmidt Ocean Institute is a nonprofit with a mission to advance oceanographic research and discovery. Its team operates the Research Vehicle (R/V) Falkor, a vast ship used to conduct projects while at sea. For one expedition, the Western Australian Museum’s Dr. Nerida Wilson, and her team, set out to explore the deep sea of Ningaloo Canyons.

No human eyes had ever seen this region’s ocean floor before. Using the Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) SuBastian the team captured rare footage of the sea’s biodiversity. Various underwater creatures were revealed like fish, jellyfish, plants, squid and starfish. The high-quality video already provided new information to the experts at first glance.

“We’ve zoomed in on the sea cucumber to see that it’s covered in what we thought were tiny hairs, which have turned out to be hydroids,” the voiceover of Dr. Wilson says.

Overall, ROV SuBastian shows how vivid and majestic marine life can be. Beyond its scientific use, it’s incredibly relaxing to see the unearthly creatures glide through the deep sea at such a high resolution.

The Schmidt Ocean Institute will complement the video surveys with Environmental DNA (eDNA), all the genetic material taken from an environmental sample. The technique can even detect traces of animals that were not present during the surveys. Thus, it will provide even more in-depth information about Ningaloo’s biodiversity.

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