TOWARDS the end of June, a unique joint expedition began in the waters near Indonesia. In an area of remarkable marine diversity known as the “Coral Triangle”, two vessels set sail: the American Okeanos Explorer and the Indonesian Baruna Jaya IV. Their destination was not over the horizon, but to explore the depths of the ocean.
Jane Lubchenco, administrator of America’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, says this is the first time that scientists have used a remotely operated vehicle to investigate the cold depths of Indonesia’s Sangihe Talaud region. Their remotely operated vehicle, known as Little Hercules, is working in waters as deep as 3,700 metres (2.3 miles) and as shallow as 250 metres.