To this day, a mere 15% of the ocean bottom has been mapped. Recently, a team of researchers from the United States-supported National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has obtained a wealth of astonishingly clear video footage while mapping the ocean floor off of the Puerto Rican coast. Using a remotely-operated vehicle in water depths as great as 7,000 meters, NOAA scientists were able to capture images of many animals formerly not known to exist.
The Puerto Rico Trench includes the deepest regions of the Atlantic Ocean. Water depths here are nearly as deep as those in the Pacific, extending as far as 8,400 meters.
Under strong supplemental lighting, the subjects in the video appear as crisply as they would in five feet of clear water. The impressive video footage obtained during these expeditions features 50 species of deepwater coral, over a hundred species of fish and several hundred invertebrate species in their natural environment. Included amongst the new species are a presumed jellyfish and several fishes.
These 12 dives only completed a part of the project, the first leg of a 52-day expedition; much more work will be done, and many more discoveries may be made.
To view highlights taken from the footage, please visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KEjU6RhoSGU.