A Diversity of Floating Friends of the Deep Sea

While exploring Unnamed Seamount 15 in Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument (PMNM) we were lucky enough to witness all types of animals from cephalopods to cnidarians. Members of our Corps of Exploration were delighted when both an octopus and a ctenophore floated in front of ROV Hercules’s camera at the same time. This combination perfectly encapsulates the diversity found in the deep sea. Want even more diversity? Keep watching for a quick glimpse of a crustacean and an absolutely stunning jellyfish. 

PMNM is the largest marine protected area in the United States covering over 1.5 million square kilometers. While past expeditions have increased baseline knowledge of the deep-water resources here, large areas remain completely unexplored! The Ala ʻAumoana Kai Uli expedition gathered data urgently needed to address local management and science needs of PMNM, including a better understanding of the deep-sea natural and cultural resources, biogeographic patterns of species distributions, and seamount geologic history. 

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