|Leaving port aboard the MV Argo |
(Photo credit: P. Auster/NURTEC/UConn
|Styrofoam cups await transit to the deep sea|
(Photo credit: K. Joy/NURTEC/UConn)
When oceanographers prepare for a deepwater dive (using ROVs or occupied submersibles) they often follow the long-running tradition of decorating Styrofoam cups, placing them in a mesh bag affixed to the vehicle, and exposing them to the extreme pressures of the abyssal realm. The pressure thousands of feet below the surface can reduce an 8oz cup to the size of a thimble, resulting in a nifty souvenir from the seafloor. Kevin Joy visited his son Sawyer's class before leaving on the expedition and had the students draw on Styrofoam cups – these will be attached to the Hela ROV or submersible during a deep dive, which will turn the coffee cups into shot glass size miniatures from Las Gemelas Seamounts.
This National Geographic expedition is supported in part by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. DRL-1114251. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.