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Strange, Gold, Biological Discovery on Sea Floor | Wondros Podcast EP 226

Originally aired on October 11, 2023

In this episode of Wondros, Jesse and Priscilla interview Sam Candio, a scientist from the NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration. They discuss a recent discovery of a strange, gold object on the sea floor and the process of exploring the deep sea. Sam explains that the object caught their attention due to its shiny, golden appearance, but its exact nature is still unknown. The team uses sonars and remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) to map and explore the ocean floor, capturing high-definition videos and collecting samples. The object has garnered international news coverage, but no one has been able to identify it yet. Sam highlights the importance of ocean exploration in expanding our knowledge of the underwater world and encourages curiosity and exploration.

 

Discovery of the Gold Object

  • The shiny, golden object caught the team’s attention during their exploration of the ocean floor.
  • Despite its publicity, the exact nature and purpose of the object remain unknown.

Process of Ocean Exploration

  • The team uses sonars to create 3D models of the seafloor and identify potential habitats for further exploration.
  • ROVs equipped with cameras and sampling tools are remotely operated to collect high-definition videos and samples from the ocean floor.
  • The vehicle captures detailed images and footage, allowing scientists to analyze and identify various species and objects.

Unidentified Biological Discoveries

  • Each dive has the potential to uncover new and unidentified species in the deep sea.
  • The deep sea is largely unexplored, and every dive reveals new surprises and adaptations to the unique environment.
  • The team has encountered carnivorous sponges, octopuses brooding eggs, and other fascinating species during their expeditions.

Importance of Baseline Exploration

  • The team’s explorations aim to create a baseline understanding of the ocean and document the unknown.
  • With only low-resolution satellite imagery available, high-resolution mapping and visual analysis provide valuable insights into the underwater world.
  • The discoveries challenge existing knowledge and broaden our understanding of the ocean’s diversity.

Collaboration and Communication in Exploration

  • Real-time communication and collaboration between scientists aboard the ship and experts ashore are crucial during exploration dives.
  • The team receives feedback and guidance from the scientific community, incorporating input during dives to study specific organisms or objects.
  • Open-mindedness and curiosity are important qualities in ocean exploration, enabling scientists to generate hypotheses and explore various possibilities.

Public Engagement and Interest in Ocean Exploration

  • The gold object discovery generated significant media attention, sparking public curiosity about the mysterious deep sea.
  • Ocean exploration serves as a point of public engagement, inspiring conversations about the unexplored areas in our own backyard.
  • Scientists’ willingness to acknowledge uncertainty and embrace the unknown humanizes the field of exploration.