Senior Editor

The Inertia

Way back in 1987, a man named David Packard founded the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute. In the years since, MBARI has made an extraordinary contribution to science. It has been 36 years of deep sea discoveries using remotely operated vehicles to plumb the depths of the sea. The researchers there have completed more than 7,300 dives and amassed over 28,500 hours of video. And in the 2-ish minutes above, they’ve compiled their most-loved moments.

Packard was of the opinion that in order to address the unique challenges inherent in ocean exploration, a new kind of research institute was necessary. Not one to sit on his heels and let someone else do what needed to be done, he opened the doors to MBARI.

The whole idea behind it was to operate independently but collaborate with anyone willing and able, and the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary was an ideal place to explore. In total, the sanctuary covers 5,312 square miles. That’s bigger than the biggest national park in the continental U.S., and smack dab in the center of it is an underwater canyon twice as deep as the Grand Canyon.

“Together with our education and conservation partner, the Monterey Bay Aquarium, and our principal funder, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation,” the website explains, “we strive to provide the best science, engineering, and outreach tools to the ocean science and conservation community.”

As one would expect after three decades of exploration, MBARI scientists have seen a lot of weird and wonderful things under the surface of the ocean.

“These fascinating finds underscore the dazzling diversity of life in the deep,” they wrote. “From the fish with a transparent head that started it all to a deep-sea angler with a loose tooth that captured the attention of millions and all the amazing animals in between, we’re sharing MBARI’s most loved videos to say thank you for exploring the deep with us.”

For any ocean lover, seeing what’s down there is of great interest. And for the scientists working together to unlock the mysteries of the deep, MBARI’s findings are invaluable. For the layperson, the things they catch on camera are almost unbelievable.


Only the best. We promise.


Join our community of contributors.