“The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever.” The ocean is a magic place. It is massive to the point that we humans have never even seen the bottom of it. It’s incredible to think about how we have explored outer space without even knowing about how the sea works. We are still discovering sea creatures till this day! There are no bounds to how many unique and interesting mechanisms of biology exist. I prefer to discuss tropical fish but there are also interesting and unique arctic organisms as well as many unique deep sea fish.
One of the most challenging parts of exploring the ocean is well… the depth and lack of oxygen. It can be very expensive to explore the ocean and without substantial research grants or funding through big oil or gas companies, it is unlikely that many interesting areas of the ocean will be explored. Now that automated technologies are increasing in popularity, like the self driving car, it may be feasible to create ocean going, fully automated drones that are set to go off and explore the ocean and it’s deepest and darkest points. Sending data back to the main hub will be a difficult challenge, however it’s not one that comes without its benefits. There are already some drones that do things underwater like uwild inspections services, however these are typically tethered to a central point out of the water. By implementing ocean going drones that can automatically share data we will dramatically increase the amounts of the ocean that are being covered and explored. This is one of the best parts of drones and automation technology- it is going to make tasks that once were considered massive undertakings (such as mapping the ocean floor) and make them into extremely reasonable and completely doable functions.
One of my favorite examples of exploration before drones were popular is the conshelf project built by Jaques Cousteau. The conshelf project (2) was built in the shallow, tropical waters off of Sudan, on a pristine tropical reef that housed fish and other tropical corals and truly allowed biologists and scientists to study ocean creatures without surfacing for over a month at a time. This was a monumental achievement in biological sciences and helped pave the way for development of space environments for potential long distance outer space travel. Are you are ever looking for some underwater inspection? Check out www.deeptrekker.com. This company produces some of the best tethered underwater exploration devices I have ever seen.