Stunning Display of Biodiversity on Un-surveyed Seamount

Take a dive with our Corps of Exploration as we visit Unnamed Seamount B about 150 miles west of Kauaʻi and witness colorful coral and sponge communities complete with brittle stars, hydroids, Foraminifera, and more. This highlight reel demonstrates the interconnectedness of reef animals as it zooms in on an old sponge stalk heavily occupied by a plethora of underwater creatures including predatory sea stars and well-established corals. Watch the full video for splendid footage of backward-swimming eels, pouty anglerfish, carnivorous sponges and even a sea cucumber known as the “headless chicken” spotted during the Luʻuaeaahikiikekualonokai expedition.

Located south of the Hawaiian Islands, the seamounts may hold key information to deepen our understanding of Hawaiʻiʻs volcanic history. Moreover, like a kualono, or ridge that offers protection to those within its domain, the Chautauqua seamounts offer important marine habitats that protect various ocean organisms. What a fantastic way to end our 2021 expedition season!

Learn more about this expedition funded by NOAA Ocean Exploration through the Ocean Exploration Cooperative Institute.