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Watch Live: Be a Virtual Ocean Explorer

NOAA invites you to join watch live as scientists discover the unknown through a deep-sea expedition in the northern Gulf of Mexico.

Have you ever wanted to dive deep beneath the ocean’s surface? Discover a sunken shipwreck? Watch sea cucumbers dance and crabs scurry amongst deep corals? Or witness as scientists make new discoveries? Here is your chance.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) invites you to join an expedition to explore deep-sea habitats and marine life in the northern Gulf of Mexico LIVE from the NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer, America’s Ship for Ocean Exploration. Advancing our understanding of the largely unknown ocean through exploration and research via expeditions such as this is directly in line with President Obama’s draft Ocean Policy Implementation Plan.

Using satellite and high-speed Internet pathways, live seafloor video is streamed to scientists around the world. Scientists can follow along, providing input and helping to guide the expedition. These same live video feeds are available online 24/7, so that anyone, anywhere can follow the exploration.

Despite their importance to our nation as a source for economic and natural resources, we know very little about deep-water habitats in the Gulf of Mexico. The purpose of the current Okeanos Explorer expedition is to help reduce that large unknown, by mapping and imaging features and creatures that may never have been seen before. During the expedition, scientists have already observed and documented previously unexplored shipwrecks, and deep-sea corals and associated communities of life. They will continue to explore through and are also testing methods to measure the rate that gas rises from seeps in the seafloor.

To learn more about the expedition, you can access mission logs, daily updates, photos and video clips, maps, and educational materials. You can also follow the expedition on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube to keep up-to-date on the latest dive plans, operations, and discoveries.

So get ready to dive in and be a virtual ocean explorer. Between now and April 28, watch live as scientists explore the unknown, potentially encountering shipwrecks, coral, fish, gaseous seeps, and fascinating ocean ecosystems, and prepare to witness active scientific exploration and discovery of America's underwater territory.