We showed more than 30 hours of videos and since the ROPOS is equipped with HD video cameras, we were able to see the most amazing details of the seafloor and its inhabitants; not so much on the video because of transmission limitations but the still images speak for themselves (hi-resolution photos).

One particular aspect of this expedition that I emphasized to the public was the observation for habitats unaffected by human activities; in some areas, these habitats will have large numbers of branching cold water corals (forming what is called “coral forests”). These coral forests, with many species sponges often associated with them, provide shelter for many other species such as anemones, sea stars, fishes and other bottom-dwelling animals. I will talk about the significance of these “forests” in a subsequent post.

The ROPOS also has special equipment such as the two hydraulic arms and a jackhammer that allowed researchers to collect animals and rocks. No doubt, it takes special training to operate this sophisticated equipment.

In my next post, you’ll see that there is lots of work awaiting the researchers at the labs.