The ocean is the last frontier. We can travel to space, we’ve placed a man on the moon, but the deepest depths of the ocean are still largely out of reach. The vast majority of the ocean is unexplored and holds much to be discovered. Advancements in underwater vehicles and technology such as submersibles, ROVs (Remotely operated vehicles), and AUVs (Autonomous Underwater Vehicles), have allowed researchers to explore the depths of the ocean and to bring novel marine species to the surface every year, and on nearly every deep sea dive.
The unique and diverse hydrothemal vent communities found along deep sea ridges went undiscovered until the 1970’s and are still relatively new to science. In fact, we continue to learn more about them every day. There are still many amazing secrets the ocean holds just waiting to be discovered. New exploration and research can lead to a better understanding of the world around us and the impacts that we have. The ocean can reveal secrets of the Earth’s past and lead to novel advances in science and medicine. If it weren’t for the discovery of a deep sea creature capable of surviving in extreme heat, most of the genetic research conducted today wouldn’t be possible. We are just starting to penetrate the depths of the ocean that brings new and fascinating findings each day.
Ocean exploration is an exciting endeavor. It attracts a diversity of scientists including biologists, archeologists, engineers, ocean educators, and oceanographers. Modern technology and equipment enables researchers to explore the ocean’s greatest depths leading to discoveries of bizarre species and ecosystems – many beyond our wildest imagination. Throughout the history of ocean exploration, key individuals have helped bring the most remote ocean realms to light. Each of these seafaring explorers have contributed uniquely to the field of oceanography, making it their life’s mission to unravel the mysteries of the seas.
DR. SYLVIA EARLE
DR. ROBERT BALLARD
DR. PETER AUSTER
PLACES IN THE SEA RELATED TO EXPLORATION AND RESEARCH
NOAA Ocean Explorer - National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Endangered Oceans - Scripps Explorations
Alvin - National Geographic