The team from the Nekton Mission will spend five weeks exploring the Indian Ocean with an advanced mini-submarine in an area absent of sunlight but teeming with marine wildlife.
“The area that we’re going to be researching, it’s one of the most biodiverse parts of the world’s oceans. So what we’re going to find there is unknown,” says mission director Oliver Steeds.
The mission’s Triton submarine, named Limiting Factor, is one of only five that can withstand the pressures at more than 6,000 metres below the surface — and the only one that’s reached as far as 11,000 metres.
Last year, NUI Galway zoology head Dr Louise Allcock was part of Nekton’s First Descent mission where she witnessed not only the fish that inhabit the ocean’s darker reaches but also the corals that make it their home.