Deep Scope

By  | 

Scientists are raving about advanced technology that gave them a new and better look at strange and elusive creatures in the deepest reaches of the Gulf of Mexico.

Operation Deep Scope, a 10-day, $210,000 expedition financed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, ended when the research vessel Seward Johnson Two returned to Panama City, Florida.

Edith Widder, a senior scientist for the Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institution in Fort Pierce, Florida, says the expedition proves the concept of leaving a new camera system, known as Eye-in-the-Sea, on the bottom for 24 hours at a time to photograph sea creatures under low levels of infrared light invisible to the animals.

Mini-subs and remote-controlled vehicles previously used are noisy and equipped with bright lights that scare the animals away.