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IPFS News Link • Underwater Exploration and Living

Want to Explore the Deep Sea? The Secret Is Sound

• Wired by Matt Simon

Even if you could breathe water, the cold and the crushing pressure would surely extinguish your flame. But that doesn't mean science can just ignore the depths. In fact, understanding the deep sea is more critical than ever before.

To that end, a team of scientists just mapped over 4,000 square miles of seafloor in the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument, off the Hawaiian Islands, in stunning detail. The work aboard the Schmidt Ocean Institute's research vessel Falkor (yes, like in The NeverEnding Story) reveals not just geological secrets, but clues as to where life might be hiding.

To build such a detailed image of the seafloor, the team didn't use any old sonar, but something called multibeam sonar, which fires out lots of pings in a sort of ribbon of sound.