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NOAA sets sail to the deep waters off Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands

Watch the exploration of unknown areas online and in real-time
October 30, 2018
This rare dumbo octopus often called the Blind Octopod due to the lack of a lens and reduced retina in its eyes was observed in the deep waters surrounding Puerto Rico in 2015.

The deep waters surrounding Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands are some of the least explored in the entire United States Exclusive Economic Zone of the Atlantic Ocean, and we have only begun to understand the deep-sea resources, habitats, and ecosystems in this region.

Join the mission team from NOAA’s Office of Ocean Exploration and Research, and their partners aboard NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer as they explore these unknown deepwater areas and broadcast live video from the ocean surface to the seafloor from October 31 through November 19.

NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer is America's ship for ocean exploration.
NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer is America's ship for ocean exploration. (NOAA)

Dives made by remotely operated vehicles (ROV) deployed from Okeanos are likely to reveal a first look at unexplored deep-sea coral and sponge habitats, deep-water fish habitats, submarine canyons, slope areas, seamounts, trenches, and other little known deep-sea habitats.

The mission will support science and management priorities in the Caribbean region by providing new data on the deep waters around marine protected areas, vulnerable marine habitats, commercially important fish habitats, and potential hazards from an area subject to underwater earthquakes and landslides.

The live online video feed is available to everyone, giving a front row seat to exploration activities and discoveries as they are made in real time! Additionally, mission logs, daily updates, educational materials, and multimedia elements will be posted throughout the expedition by the NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research.