Phase: On-location filming completed
Needed: Post-production and computer graphics
Our lead scientist, Cynthia set out on the Schmidt Ocean Institute’s research vessel Falkor bound for the Mariana Trench with an International team to deploy landers to explore Challenger Deep, the deepest spot on earth. Once thought to be barren landscapes devoid of life, it is now known that trenches are home to numerous species - hearty creatures adapted to withstand intense pressure, near-freezing temperatures, and eternal darkness. The Principle Investigator for this expedition was Douglas Bartlett from Scripps Institution of Oceanography (SIO) and for Dr. Bartlett this was a return voyage to this location. As a world-renowned marine microbiologist, he previously studied life in this trench as part of James Cameron’s Deepsea Challenger 2012 expedition. Follow-up work on bacterial communities is needed, so Dr. Bartlett assembled an international team of specialized researchers to carry out the mission: collect water samples in tubes so pressurized and volatile they could explode, capture live deep-sea specimens, record rare acoustical information from background noise to investigate how animals might use soundscapes, and finally to capture video and still images that provide a glimpse into this sub-abyssal ecosystem. The broader impact of this work includes researching and documenting the forces that exist in this realm, from microbial to macro communities and to gain a better understanding of the remote reaches of our world.
CRUISE REPORT: http://www.schmidtocean.org/file/show/3660
Link to our video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EOShNt1vpDUlink
Link to NPR interview: http://www.npr.org/2014/12/19/371670931/7-miles-beneath-the-sea-s-surface-who-goes-there