Mariana trench live feed: engrossing viewing from deepest place on Earth

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Rare footage from 11km underwater streams on Youtube from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration vessel

A live video feed of the Mariana trench the deepest place on Earth is proving engrossing viewing for those above sea level.

The Mariana trench plunges about 11km (seven miles) deep under the Pacific further down than the summit of Mount Everest is above sea level. Because of the difficulties in reaching such depths, little is known about the area.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administrations (NOAA) exploration vessel Okeanos Explorer has been conducting a deepwater exploration of the Marianas since 20 April. Video footage from its deep sea remotely-operated vehicle is being live-streamed on YouTube and the NOAAs website.

NOAAs live-stream of Camera 1 of the Okeanos Explorers deep-sea remotely-operated vehicle; Camera 2 and Camera 3 are also live on YouTube.

The vehicle is currently scouring the seafloor of the Mariana trench marine national monument, 3,685m deep, just east of the Philippines.

Commentary is provided by scientists identified only as Chris, Kelley and others, some shore-based, some aboard the Okeanos Explorer.

This is why they turned off the party line, Kelley apologised on Wednesday, after the scientists were chastised for their banter by the navigator. Because were too loud.

Kelley who summarised her role in the mission as I just point and ask for a zoom on stuff said the geology was not very diverse but abundant.

In 20 minutes viewing, scientists pointed out a starfish, two sponges, a holothurian sea cucumber of incredible colour, up to three different kinds of anemones, some kind of sediment-dweller, a tripod fish without tripods, and our second cusk-eel.

A beautiful stalked crinoid, likely Proisocrinus ruberrimus. Photograph: NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research, 2016 Deepwater Exploration of the Marianas

Its been a great sponge day, Kelley said to the 2,900-odd people streaming the feed on YouTube. Weve learned a lot.

The location of the ship, which will continue its mission until 10 July, is tracked in real-time online.

Updates from each dive are posted daily on the NOAA website, as are highlight videos and images.

For the most committed followers, there is a mobile app that promises to bring the excitement of ocean discovery directly to your smartphone or tablet.

In December 2014 scientists at the University of Aberdeen filmed a new type of snailfish at a depth of 8,145m in the Mariana trench setting a new record for the worlds deepest fish.

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