Tagged With deep sea mining

In 2009, Kerry McPhail descended Jacques Cousteau-style towards the Axial Volcano, inside the cramped, 30-year-old little submarine DSV Alvin, with a pilot and another scientist. Four hundred and eighty kilometres off the coast of Oregon, they were collecting tubeworms, bacterial mats and bivalves living near a deep sea volcanic vent. These samples could potentially yield new pharmaceutical compounds -- and in turn, new chemical cures and desperately needed antibiotics that are yet undiscovered.

It doesn't have towering canopies or jewel-toned corals, but an enormous region of the eastern Pacific that was long considered a biological wasteland is proving to be anything but. New research reveals that the Clarion Clipperton Zone (CCZ), which is being prospected for deep ocean mining, is teeming with never-before-seen forms of life.

In March 1968, a Soviet Golf II submarine carrying nuclear ballistic missiles exploded and sank 2780km northwest of Hawaii. Five months later, the US government discovered the wreckage -- and decided to steal it. So began Project AZORIAN, one of the most absurdly ambitious operations the CIA has ever conceived.