Siphonophores are marine animals closely related to jellyfish. The most well-known one is the perhaps the Portuguese Man ‘o War, notorious for its potent, venomous sting. Surprisingly, what looks like one individual, is actually a colony of individual animals called zooids that are uniquely specialized to serve a specific function and role.
Much like a siphonophore, the Ocean Exploration Trust‘s international Corps of Exploration is made up of many different specialists from scientists to engineers to communicators, that all work together on the Exploration Vessel Nautilus to explore largely unknown deep sea habitats.
Ashley Marranzino and I both sailed on the E/V Nautilus during the Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary leg of this year’s expedition where we explored deep sea canyons, dove on a World War II submarine–the USS Bugara, took samples for ocean acidification research and successfully recovered an ocean monitoring instrument that had been lost.
Yesterday, we posted a video blog of us giving a tour of the ship. In this video, Ashley and I team up to introduce you to some of the names and faces of the Corps of Exploration by asking members to explain their role on the ship in 10 seconds, or less!
The E/V Nautilus’ 2017 season is its longest yet, going until November this year. Follow along in real time on nautiluslive.org as the team sails south along the west coast of the U.S. & Mexico to visit hydrothermal vents and other deep sea ecosystems!
I’m a past oceanbites writer, occasional editor and guest poster. I graduated with a Masters of Coastal & Marine Management from the University of Akureyri in Iceland, and am currently working in marine conservation. In particular, I’m supporting an Indigenous-led initiative to safeguard the largest inland sea in the world (Hudson Bay & James Bay, Canada). I love weird ocean critters and *sigh…I really do enjoy long walks on the beach.