Underwater Robot Surprised By Sperm Whale [Video]

Sperm whale unfazed by robot

Hercules ROV Sees A Sperm Whale

Hercules ROV Sees A Sperm Whale

Screenshot by author, from YouTube

Don't call it Ishmael; the remotely operated underwater vehicle is named Hercules. Used by the Nautilus Live expedition to explore the depths of the sea, Hercules is one of a pair of robots live-streaming the depths of the ocean. Yesterday, south of Louisiana in the Gulf of Mexico and at a depth of almost 2000 feet, Hercules (and anyone lucky enough to be watching the live stream at the time) caught something extraordinary on camera: a sperm whale.

Watch the rendezvous below:

Encounters between ROVs and sperm whales are incredibly rare, the Nautilus researchers note, particularly at such relatively shallow depths.