Here are just a few routine items aboard an icebreaker on a research cruise in the Arctic Ocean: a hair dryer, a painted-spattered piece of hose you might find in a town dump, a sponge. Oh, did I mention that the sponge may be a previously undiscovered species? Or that the piece of hose is going to the seafloor to help collect other possibly undiscovered species? Or that the hair dryer is being used on the vehicle that brings the hose to the bottom? Did I mention the robotic underwater vehicle that remained hovering more than 4,000 meters (2.5 miles) beneath the surface—with engineers unable to communicate with it to bring it back?