The Deep See submersible dove into uncharted territory this week as it traveled to the southern side of Cocos Island. The more commonly explored areas of Cocos stay relatively sheltered from the elements, while its southern side takes the brunt of the Pacific Ocean's force and power. These conditions make it extremely challenging to access with the Deep See, the only tool we have in exploring beyond scuba diving depths. After months of waiting for ideal weather and calm surface conditions, the Deep See team caught a break. Mother Nature gave us the perfect opportunity: clear skies and unbelievably smooth-as-glass sea surface conditions. That was all we needed to take our long-awaited journey into the unknown.
What we found was astounding! The first thing we noticed was the stark contrast with the other sides of Cocos. The seamount was covered with green corals, almost like an underwater forest. We nicknamed the location Monteverde, after the lush green rain forest on mainland Costa Rica. There was a staggering amount of biomass that we hadn’t expected to see. At 91m/300ft, we saw schools of amber jack and soldier fish, as well as green turtles, groupers, hogfish, and resident ragged tooth sharks. The number of ragged tooth shark was one of the biggest surprises: we counted as many as ten individuals, including a pregnant female.
Video from the DeepSee
The short video below shows what Deep See pilot Shmulik Bloom and Owner Avi Klapfer saw during the dive. As is customary for every Deep See dive, the video footage has been released to the Center of Investigation in Sciences of the Sea and Limnology (CIMAR) at the University of Costa Rica. This is part of our ongoing relationship with CIMAR scientists in aid of their research efforts. With each dive that the Deep See takes, we feel we are getting a step closer to uncovering the mysteries that surround Cocos.