Day 14: 4 July 2020

We have spent three spectacular days in a row in the deep! Today and yesterday, we dived down to the beginning of Aegir Ridge fracture zone with our ROV and witnessed, once again, the most stunning impressions of life on the unknown mysterious seafloor. Nothing can describe what we look at better than images and that’s why I will stop writing soon and let the photos speak! Just one more important thing to mention at this point: Yesterday (4.7.2020) was the 300th dive for the ROV Kiel 6000. This is a good opportunity to congratulate the excellent ROV team and thank them for making these unforgettable dives possible! It’s an honour to be part of this fantastic journey with such remarkable imagery of the flourishing life below the water surface.

There are lots of shrimps down there and they are a very important source of food. With their reflective eyes they can see in the pitch darkness just by using the light of the bioluminescent organisms (if they are not being dazzled by ROV lights every now and then).

This gloomy fellow is known as a rat tail. As long as it is dark and cool, he is happy - thus he can be found everywhere on the global ocean seafloor in countless numbers!

Also sediment but where did it come from? Perhaps detrital boulders and glacial scree?

Rays of all different kinds and sizes from around 5cm to at least 1m were joining us on our flight – they love the dark and cold waters of the Norwegian basin! Just at the seafloor, the temperature was -0.38°C.

Although they resemble corals in outward appearance, the white branched out little trees are sponges...

...The pinkish coloured organism however is a soft coral.

This magnificent hard sediment structure covered with blooming life is over 3 million? years old and is probably a leftover of former glacial activit….

 

Beautiful bioluminescence of a comb jellyfish and its surrounding ‘marine snow’ – small particles of organic material drifting down from the Surface.

This little white snail is climbing up the stalk of a moss animal or bryozoan. To find food, these organism filter sea water with tiny retractable tentacles that are lined along the outer branches.

A Squid. You might wonder why they are bright red although living in complete darkness where no one (except scientists) can see their beauty – red has the longest wavelength of the visible colour spectrum and is therefore absorbed by the water column already after about 5m distance from the observer. Hence potential predators will not be able to see this cute little lad from further away. A very handsome camouflage!

A tiny little coral in the massive hands of the ROV's grabber arm!

High-ranking visitors came along during the ROV retrieval - this was a big school of pilot whales. They probably wanted to congratulate the ROV’s 300th dive!
High-ranking visitors came along during the ROV retrieval - this was a big school of pilot whales. They probably wanted to congratulate the ROV’s 300th dive!
I'm pretty sure this chap was waving at us!
I'm pretty sure this chap was waving at us!