Thousands of feet below the surface of the Atlantic Ocean, a journey of exploration and discovery is underway. Researchers from the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration and partner groups are conducting one of the most comprehensive map and survey missions of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge ever done. The ridge is the world’s longest mountain range (undersea or otherwise), and remains mostly unexplored.
The so-called “Voyage to the Ridge 2022” began in May, and the third and final part is set to end this month. The mission’s dives with a remotely operated vehicle are being livestreamed on NOAA’s website (where you can follow along!); the last dive is scheduled for August 28.
With all the new maps, footage, and samples they’ve been collecting, scientists are hoping to get a better understanding of the geography, geology, and life in the mysterious, deep-ocean region. And thus far, the mission has yielded some stunning, wild, weird, and even unsettling results. Click on to see some of the most mesmerizing deep-sea finds.