These Deep Ocean Expeditions Have Captured Some Wicked Cool Sea Life

Check out these photos from recent research dives.

NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research

Oceans! There’s weird creatures down there!

Unfortunately, exploring them is expensive and time consuming. Fortunately, there are many scientific missions dedicated to the task and some of them are kind enough to share beautiful mementos with the world.

Earlier this month we pointed you towards a few remotely operated vehicle (ROV) missions that were live-streaming their dives.

In case you haven’t been paying attention, let’s catch up with how things have been going, shall we?

Colorful coral dots a ridge crest on the sea floor.

NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research

NOAA’s Okeanos Explorer has been exploring deep waters off Hawaii since early July.

Here's a rare sight: An aplacophoran (shell-less mollusk) feasts on a bamboo coral.

NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research

“We expect to explore several seamount groups, rift zone ridges, drowned reef terraces, pinnacles, deep-sea coral and sponge communities, manganese crust habitats, an enigmatic crater, a submarine canyon, and a sunken submarine,” states the expedition website.

That's a tiny shrimp inside a fairly large sea sponge. Those laser dots mark a distance of about four inches.

NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research

The mission continues through the end of this month, if you care to tag along for the ride.

Onwards now, to deep waters off Canada’s West Coast, where Ocean Networks Canada has recently completed a series of deep sea missions.

Hey, little fellas.

Ocean Networks Canada

A lot of the work for crews of the two ships, the E/V Nautilus and the R/V Thompson, involved repairing and maintaining underwater monitoring and research stations.

This purple octopus is just chillin' in Clayoquot Slope.

Ocean Networks Canada

There was also the business of collecting specimen, like these Tanner crab:

Tanner crabs sun themselves on deck.

Ocean Networks Canada.

Still want more? Head over to Ocean Networks Canada’s Flickr page to get up close and personal with the creepy and cool critters that populate the inky depths.

I think this one likes me.

Ocean Networks Canada