View some of the spectacular underwater footage captured by the Little Hercules ROV on July 9th during the Indonesia-USA Deep-Sea Exploration Expedition.
<p>The crew launched the ROV at 4d 56.96'N 125d 46.70'E around 0815. The target was an oddly shaped feature that rose to a depth of approximately 500m and had an almost square shaped and flat plateau. The plateau measured roughly 4000 by 3500 meters. It dropped off steeply on all sides to a depth of 1100m below. The top surface was composed primarily of eroded carbonate rock with fine-grained pelagic sediment on top.
<p>The ROV ascended up a steep slope that contained a high biomass of corals, crinoids, shrimp and galatheid crabs (i.e. squat lobsters). Two of the galatheid crabs were holding a cylindrical shaped purple object that appeared to be some type of egg case or plankton which we could not immediately identify. Many of these objects floated by the camera throughout the dive.</p>
<p>The top of the plateau was fairly deserted in terms of biomass. Little Hercules did however come across two animals that appeared to be either octopi or squid. The ROV also found an approximately 1m long stingray and several urchins that appeared to have the ability to climb up corals and sponge stalks.</p>
<p>After canvassing the plateau for a few hours, Little Hercules descended back down the slope in a different location. The slope included a number of interesting geological features and high biomass. The ROV also found a school of fish and a sandy area beneath a cliff.</p>