Deep Scope Gives Scientists New Look at Gulf's Depths

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.

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.


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