40 scientists from seven different countries boarded The Investigator in May to explore a hitherto unexplored area of the planet: the freezing, dark depths 14,000 feet below the ocean’s surface.
Before the ship departed, Dr. Tim O’Hara, the mission’s lead scientist, said, “The abyss is the largest and deepest habitat on the planet, covering half of the world’s oceans and one third of Australia’s territory, but it remains the most unexplored environment on Earth.” Only a few samples had previously been taken from Australia’s abyss, despite the fact that abyssal species have been around for at least 40 million years.
You may think, based on the team’s findings, that they traveled by rocket ship rather than boat now that they’ve been gone for a month.
They also have a herd of sea pigs, a fish with photosensitive plates on its head, a fish without a face, flaming sea stars, fire-red horned shrimp, hermaphrodite lizard fish, and fish with dinner plate-sized sea spiders.
A third of their catches had never before been observed by humans.
“It’s really a voyage of discovery,” O’Hara added. “Yes, you can still do it in the 21st century, which is sort of incredible.”