oceanography

Monster Machines: This Super-Tough Vent Camera Keeps Tabs On Undersea Aliens

One of the hottest areas of oceanic research centres around deep sea hydrothermal vents and the unique animal species that call it home. But at depths of more than a mile, donning a snorkelling mask and flippers just won’t cut it. That’s why Ocean Networks Canada has deployed a state-of-the-art camera to document life in the Grotto Hydrothermal Vent in real time.


Monster Machines: Alvin Gets Back To Work After $42 Million Retrofit

Barely a week since successfully completing sea trials after a three year hiatus, the venerable research sub Alvin is already earning back the $US42 million in hardware upgrades and engineering retrofits it’s received — showing off its spacious new three-crew cabin with a quick dive to the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico. But this is no pleasure cruise.


A Fleet Of Unpowered Submarines Is About To Plumb The Ocean's Depths

Even though they cover two-third’s of the planet’s surface, we know precious little about how the oceans actually interact with the continents and atmosphere. What’s more, our oceanic models are woefully incomplete — only capable of showing large areas with reduced resolution or in high detail over a limited area. But a new fleet of autonomous research submarines are about to rectify that problem.


Monster Machines: This Torpedo Keeps Social Tabs On Sharks

Sand Tiger sharks have been patrolling coastal waters worldwide for more than 250,000 years. But with only a pair of pups born every few years, this placid apex predator is succumbing to human pressures.


Monster Machines: How A Deep Sea Robot Will Sweep 98% Of The Ocean Floor

Over the course of 4400 dives, Alvin has done just about everything. Its recovered lost nukes, explored the ruins of the HMS Titanic, and upturned our understanding of the deep sea with the discovery of hydrothermal vents bustling with unimaginable forms of life. But after 48 years of service, the venerable ROV is starting to show its age, and is quickly being eclipsed by newer models.


How Tide Predicting Machines Saved D-Day

How do you land 140,000 allied troops on an 8km stretch of beach under heavy German bombardment? Very carefully. And to ensure the deployment of forces without stranding landing craft while juking Rommel out of his shoes, the Allies employed these machines to predict the height of the tides.


Seals Are Helping Chart The Ocean Floor

What better way to learn about the ocean’s depths than plastering this contraption on a wild seal’s head? This guy and 56 of his friends are gathering information about the seafloor to help scientists model the ocean’s reaction to climate change.


A Portrait Of The Bizarre Future Of Marine Life

This picture shows the hybridisation of plastic garbage with marine life – algae and tiny invertebrates have made a home on plastic that has been floating in the North Atlantic for decades. Now scientists say the plastic is disappearing.


British Sub-Bot To Explore The Caribbean's Deepest, Hottest Gash

Beneath the sea between Cuba and Jamaica lies the Cayman Trough, a rift where two tectonic plates are pulling away from each other, leaving a three-mile deep volcanic trench. Scientists are going to drown some robots in it.