Here an octopus mother protects her eggs in Hendrickson Canyon. If you looks closely you can see the eyes of the baby octopus through the egg. Image courtesy of NOAA Okeanos Explorer Program, Our Deepwater Backyard: Exploring Atlantic Canyons and Seamounts 2014. Download larger version (jpg, 1.4 MB).
Okeanos Explorer EX1404L3
Dive 02 - Hendrickson Canyon. Video courtesy of NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research. Download (mp4, 59.0 MB)
Today’s dive investigated a steep wall face along the southern side of Hendrickson Canyon. Remotely operated vehicle Deep Discoverer (D2) reached the boulder-strewn bottom at a depth of 1,670 meters. As D2 moved upslope along our transect, the sheer canyon wall was characterized by several scrapes on the chalky wall surface, evidence of previous failures (some recent), several chutes, and occasional manganese staining. By far, the most abundant fauna of the dive were cup corals, which were generally located under frequent overhangs and outcrops along the sheer wall. Other common fauna encountered along the transit upslope included several species of octocorals, black corals, scleractinian corals, fish, octopods, sea pens, corallimorphs, sea spiders, sea urchins, and sponges. Highlights from today’s dive included a dandelion siphonophore, an acrobatic chimaera, a large vertical crack that had a high diversity of corals and sponges as well as several octopods, and the first deployment of D2’s new sediment probe, affectionately called “Sepoke.”