Close-up of large purple spoon worm seen during the dive on July 10.

Close-up of large purple spoon worm seen during the dive on July 10. Image courtesy of the NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research, INDEX-SATAL 2010. Download larger version (jpg, 578 KB).

Dive 10: Spoon Worm
July 10, 2010

Before launching the ROV on initial planned location, the bridge discovered that the dive area was located in an explosive ordinance zone. The dive location was moved to a ridge to the south that rose from the bottom to a depth of approximately 2240m. The crew launch the ROV for Dive 10 at 3º 16.0926'N 125º 17.454’E around 0845. There as almost no current at the bottom and the surface was heavily sedimented with very few animals anywhere. We did however come across a few very interesting creatures as we climbed up the slope. These included a large purple spoon worm whose digestive tract was clearly visible through its translucent skin; a fascinating large purple nudibranch; and a camouflaged sea urchin covered with a hat of organic debris and smaller animals. We also noticed a number of large burrows in the sediment and several track lines with a lot of oddly shaped debris or perhaps unidentified organism. Near the end of the dive we came across a small cliff face that resembled a canyon with pale orange colored rock, a stark contrast from the brown sediment we saw for most of the dive.