Sponges, including this carnivorous sponge, were one of the most abundant fauna during Dive 10. 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 10: Unnamed Seamount. Video courtesy of NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research. Download (mp4, 25.9 MB)
Today, remotely operated vehicle Deep Discoverer (D2) completed its deepest dive ever and the first-ever exploration of an unnamed seamount at a depth of 4,689 meters. D2 began the dive over hard rock with a light sediment cover and scarce encrusting biota that included bamboo corals, anemones, barnacles, hydroids, corallamorphs, sponges, and Cornularia octocorals. During the transit upslope, D2 also encountered sea stars (including a potential new species), squat lobsters, crinoids, and channel of uniform pebbles of unknown origin. Highlights from the dive included two brief glimpses of a breaststroke isopod with modified limbs that look like paddles, documentation of a variety of lava formations on this seamount, and several carnivorous sponges.