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Happy Campers

If this expedition does find active hydrothermal vents on the Gakkel Ridge, that would make most of the scientists and engineers aboard smile. But that alone wouldn’t be enough to make Tim Shank happy. Shank, a biologist at WHOI, studies the animals that live in the sunless deep sea, sustained by chemical-rich fluids gushing out of the seafloor from vents. Among the most intriguing questions he is investigating is how these animals evolved on Earth and how different populations of animals are distributed on the bottom of the ocean. To answer those questions, he needs to see the animals and get samples of them. So engineers at WHOI built a new camera and sampling vehicle for this mission, which they nicknamed Camper, short for “camera/sampler.”

Read on about our adventure in the slideshow below. Can't see the slideshow? Get the Flash plug in »

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