Black Friday Is Almost Here!
The Inventory team is rounding up deals you don’t want to miss, now through Cyber Monday. Click here to browse!

British Sub-Bot to Explore the Bubbling, Molten Depths of the Caribbean's Deepest, Hottest Gash

Illustration for article titled British Sub-Bot to Explore the Bubbling, Molten Depths of the Caribbeans Deepest, Hottest Gash

Beneath the sea between Cuba and Jamaica lies the Cayman Trough, a rift where two tectonic plates are pulling away from each other, leaving a three-mile deep volcanic trench. Scientists are going to drown some robots in it.

Advertisement

The National Oceanography Centre, Southampton, has sent the Royal Research Ship James Cook to the Caribbean, chockablock with robots and autonomous submarines designed to sniff around in the depths and discover what sort of life might be living next to the "black smoker" columns of vulcan sputum. It's this sort of life (like giant tubeworms), living underwater far from the energy and ecosystem of sunlight, which helps us understand how life on other planets may evolve. Plus it's pretty nifty here on our own planet, too.

Illustration for article titled British Sub-Bot to Explore the Bubbling, Molten Depths of the Caribbeans Deepest, Hottest Gash
Advertisement

As befits a modern research trip, "Voyage 44" has a website that they'll be updating. The team is on Twitter. If you're a teacher, they've set up a form to let kids ask questions of the expedition team. You could easily build a whole module around that.

Four different sensor and robot packages are on-board the James Cook, including the fancy Autosub6000 [pictured] which can explore the trough on its own, poking around for vents without immediate interaction from the expedition team. [National Oceanography Centre, Southampton]

See Also: Exploration of Casablanca Seamount finds underwater volcano teeming with life [Times UK]

Share This Story

Get our newsletter

DISCUSSION

norwoodismyhero
NorwoodIsMyHero

The Schadenfraude present in this article is... stupendous.