Mountains in the Deep: Exploring the Central Pacific Basin

Mission Summary

From April 27 – May 19, 2017, NOAA and partners conducted a telepresence-enabled expedition on NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer to collect critical baseline information about unknown and poorly known deepwater areas as it transited across the northern portion of the Cook Islands, with focused work in the vicinity of both the Jarvis Island and Kingman/Palmyra units of the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument, prior to returning to Honolulu.

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Video Highlights

Octopus Friday

During the first dive of the expedition, while exploring in the Aunuʻu Unit of National Marine Sanctuary of American Samoa, the team encountered this colorful little octopus.

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An Easy Meal

During Dive 09 on West Palmyra Seamount, scientists observed this unusual behavior of a sea star evidently eating a crinoid.

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A Toothy Grin

The team got up close with this smalltooth sand tiger shark while exploring Kingman Cone at a depth of ~1,025 meters (~3,360 feet).

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