Image description: Nudibranch species Janolus barbarensis, as seen under the North T-Pier, Morro Bay, California.
Nudibranchs, pronounced new-duh-branks and commonly known as sea slugs, are gastropod mollusks like whelks and many other shells you find along the beach. But, nudibranchs have no shells. There are over 3,000 species of these beautiful creatures, found on seafloors all over the world.
Photo by the National Science Foundation.
Image description: This is a closeup photo of zoo plankton that were collected by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s ocean survey ship. The ship monitors and studies our coastlines.
Photo by Eric Vance, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Image description: This ocean creature, referred to as “dandelion,” was discovered by geologists during a 1977 ocean expedition. Scientists now know that it is a siphonophore, a relative of the Portuguese man-of-war. Animals like the siphonophore live near hydrothermal vents and thrive under harsh conditions like high pressure, steep temperature gradients, and high concentrations of toxic chemicals.
Image courtesy of NOAA Okeanos Explorer Program, Galapagos Rift Expedition 2011
From the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration:
This stream provides a live view of the video feed coming from the Okeanos Explorer as it explores sites of interest in the vicinity of the Galápagos Rift. The feed includes ROV video from the seafloor, audio narration by scientists on and off the ship, and real-time sonar, CTD, and navigation displays that assist the scientists in their work.
This unique expedition, to one of the most fascinating areas of the world’s ocean, will explore diverse deep sea habitats on seamounts and hydrothermal vent systems in the Galápagos region.
The Okeanos Explorer can discover interesting seafloor features with the deep water multibeam sonar mapping system. In addition, the ship has a dedicated Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV), which can travel down to a depth of 4,000 meters. High-definition video from the ROV and camera platform are sent to the ship and to shore in real-time, a technology referred to as “telepresence.” Although the Okeanos Explorer may be thousands of miles away, the scientists standing watch at shore side exploration “command centers” throughout the country will be able to guide the ship through its mission, and help enable seafloor images and video to stream live into classrooms, newsrooms, and living rooms through high speed internet.