20 Incredible Photos Of Life Deep In The Gulf Of Mexico

Published January 16, 2018
Updated January 7, 2019

The 23-day exploration by NOAA set out to discover more about the previously-unknown habitat at the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico, and the marine life that calls it home.

Mysid shrimp hangs on a umbellula sea pen
Cusk Eel
Darwin Slimehead
Chimaera Fish
20 Incredible Photos Of Life Deep In The Gulf Of Mexico
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Everyone knows the Gulf of Mexico is a beautiful place, but what about the things that lie beneath the surface?

In the last months of 2017, from Nov. 29 to Dec. 21, a team from the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Association conducted a deep water study of the uncharted alien world that lies on the bottom of the Gulf.

The study, the first in a series of three, month-long studies, set out to explore the diversity of the habitat, as well as create a map of the previously-uncharted seafloor. The team also attempted to discover how vulnerable the marine habitats were, by studying the characteristics of the marine life and their surrounding geology.

The team used a combination of remote-operated submersibles, known as ROVs, and shore-based instruments to explore the depths for the first time.

The photos that they brought back depict the wide range of colorful life forms that inhabit the almost pitch-black depths. While the photos are definitely a first for most viewers, some of the sightings surprised even the researchers themselves.

Next, check out these photos of the creepiest deep-sea creatures out there. Then, take a look at this fisherman's photos of his craziest catches.

Katie Serena
Katie Serena is a New York City-based writer and a staff writer at All That's Interesting.