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The Challenger Expedition (1872–76) was a scientific expedition that laid the foundation of modern oceanography. The expedition was named after HMS Challenger, a Royal Navy ship modified for scientific work and equipped with scientific laboratories for natural history and chemistry. The ship travelled nearly 70,000 miles and cataloged more than 4,000 previously unknown species


The Conshelf Project (Continental Shelf Station) was conceived in the 1960s by the underwater explorer and conservationist, Jacques Cousteau, to see whether humans could live under the sea. Three stations were completed with a maximum depth of 100m (330ft) where aquanauts lived for up to three weeks. These early experiments later led to the training of astronauts before their space missions.


Aquarius is the only undersea research laboratory in the world dedicated to science and education. Located 60ft (18m) down in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, Aquarius provides unparalleled means to study the ocean and test and develop state-of-the-art undersea technology.


Nereus was a hybrid remotely operated underwater research vehicle (HROV) built by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution designed to operate at depths of up to 11,000m (36,000ft). In May 2009 she reached the bottom of the Marianas Trench, the deepest point in the ocean, but in 2014 imploded while exploring the Kermadec Trench off New Zealand at a depth of 9,900 metres (32,500ft).


At 11,000m (36,000ft) – nearly seven miles down - the Marianas Trench in the western Pacific Ocean near Guam is the deepest surveyed point in the ocean. Only two manned descents have ever reached the seabed at ‘Challenger Deep’. The first descent was in 1960 when Don Walsh and Jacques Piccard reached the bottom in the bathyscaphe Trieste. The feat was not repeated until the Canadian film director, James Cameron, reached the bottom in Deepsea Challenger in 2012.