Explore the depths of the ocean, in real-time, from the safety of your desktop

There aren't many people that get to explore the ocean depths, but the crew of the Okeanos Explorer, a ship run by the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), is using remote operated robots and the internet to bring that experience to us all.

This latest expedition of the Okeanos Explorer is bringing us views from the floor of the Gulf of Mexico (click here). These aren't just videos recorded and uploaded at a later time. These are actual live-feeds from the camera of a deep-sea submersible robot, appropriately named Deep Explorer, as it roves around the near the floor of the Gulf of Mexico. Also available is a second feed that watches the ROV and a third that shows all the ROV's view along with all the information the scientists are seeing about the robot's surroundings. Also, rather than just a silent view, the scientists provide commentary and discussion throughout, to give an idea of exactly what we're looking at.

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The Okeanos Explorer has been running expeditions since 2009, exploring various regions of the sea floor around the United States. This particular expedition started on April 10, and runs until May 1, as they investigate various aspects of the Gulf of Mexico. What's particularly interesting about this is that they're exploring pools underneath the ocean — concentrations of extremely salty water (brine) along the floor of the ocean.

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