New Images From The Deep Ocean

On May 1, NOAA scientists completed a three-week exploration of the ocean floor. Here's a glorious breakdown of what they saw.

We spent much of April glued to a livestream of the deep ocean, filmed from a remotely operated vehicle piloted by researchers aboard the Okeanos Explorer. The expedition crossed the Gulf of Mexico from Galveston, Texas, to St. Petersburg, Florida, and explored parts of the ocean largely unknown to humans.

“It’s about going places no one has ever seen,” mission biologist Stephanie Farrington told Popular Science.

Last week, we published 10 GIFs of some of our favorites of the sea creatures who found themselves in front of the ROV’s cameras. This week, we spoke with expedition leader Kelley Elliott and mission specialist Kasey Cantwell, who reviewed some highlights from the mission and explained exactly what everything was, just in case there was any beast you didn’t recognize during the livestream. View our gallery (above) of some of the most amazing deep-sea sights.

Bonus GIFs! Here are two GIFs from the livestream, showing deep-ocean creatures having a snack. The first is a sea cucumber munching on sediment; the second is a sea urchin taking a bite of coral.

Unidentified Jellyfish
Dumbo Octopus
spiky lobster
Shipwreck Debris
Shipwreck Debris
Urchin Eats Coral
Carrier Crab
Sea Cucumber
Swimming Cucumber
Deep-Sea Squid
Squid Eggs
More Squid Eggs
Fish With Anemone
Brittle Star
Soft Coral
Oil Bubbles
two golden crabs mating under a coral colony
Tar Lily
view of NOAA's ROV