How much do we really know about our own planet?
How many planets can you name?
Now, how many oceans can you name?

Very often we think that we have discovered all that this planet has to offer. With GPS and satellite, we assume the globe has been mapped, and there is little of the new or extraordinary remaining, so we say, “Onward!” and we think, “to Mars and beyond!”

But wait!  We can’t even see 71% of the earth’s topography, and much of it has never been explored! Our oceans offer incredible ecosystems that have never been seen at all, much less scientifically investigated. As miraculous as the heavens are, there is something truly spectacular about the possibility that lies below the ocean’s waves.

Underwater exploration purple holothurian

Purple Holothurian off the Galapagos Rift
Source: Ocean Exploration Trust/ Nautilus Live

Today, we bring you to places on this planet with creatures that look as fantastic as any creative mind could dream up. I’d have to surmise that if we found aliens like this on another planet, we wouldn’t be surprised. But these wonders are right here at home!

This article is special among many fabulous articles on EWC because we are sharing so much wonder with you here today that we barely know where to start.

In fact, last night, our entire family (we are parents in their 50’s, two teens, and a twenty-something) sat in front of our biggest laptop screen together and watched one short video after another of the sea floor creatures just recently filmed by an extraordinary project called Nautilus Live.

Image: Bobtail Squid

The adorable Bobtail Squid
Source: Nautilus Live

Let’s start with some fascinating background on the subject with a remarkable TED Talk by Robert Ballard, an oceanographer and underwater explorer. His case for why underwater exploration is so important and incredible is really fascinating. Check it out…

Via: TED 1

I never realized how much there is left to explore! After watching a talk like this, I am always left with an overwhelming sense of how amazing our world is;   particularly our natural world.

Diving into underwater exploration…

I wanted to see more, so I jumped over to the Nautilus Live website and found myself completely immersed in the wonders of the underwater world. Here is an incredible bit of the highlight reel from the 2015 Nautilus exploration season! I would recommend giving as much time to this as possible, it is really unbelievable, and the scientists’ reactions are really entertaining!

If you want to see more of the incredible footage from the Nautilus explorations, head over to the Nautilus Live website, or to their YouTube channel. When they are in season, you can even check in with them in real time!

I will leave you with two more beautiful photographs from Nautilus Live’s photo gallery, where you can find fascinating images of the creatures and landscapes they have encountered beneath the ocean:

Underwater Exploration Deep Sea Octopus

Deep Sea Octopus Off The Galapagos rift
SOURCE: Ocean Exploration Trust // Nautilus Live

Underwater Exploation Mexico Corals

Corals in the Gulf of Mexico
Source: Ocean Exploration Trust // Nautilus Live

-Liesl
“Laughter is the shortest distance between two people.”-Victor Borge

Liesl can be found on Instagram @Liesl.UV

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Notes:

  1. Ballard, Robert. “Robert Ballard: The Astonishing Hidden World of the Deep Ocean.” TED.com. TED, Feb. 2008. Web. 3 Dec. 2015. <https://www.ted.com/talks/robert_ballard_on_exploring_the_oceans?language=en#t-267104>.
  2. “Shy Dumbo Octopus Hides Inside Its Own Tentacles | Nautilus Live.”YouTube. EVNautilus, 23 Aug. 2015. Web. 3 Dec. 2015. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d2J-3-EjSwg>.

Liesl Ulrich-Verderber

COO Ever Widening Circles

Liesl is a camera-toting traveler, a global story seeker, and an aspiring—but more often floundering—yoga lover. She can be found on Instagram @Liesl.UV