Colorful sponges and deep-sea creatures such as a red crinoid at left, yellow spiny corals, a pink precious coral, and galatheid crabs brighten the ocean floor 925 meters (3,000 feet) below sea level near Costa Rica in this image from the feed of remotely-operated vehicle SuBastian photographed by Scripps biological oceanographer Lisa Levin this week.
"The scenery at 925 m on Seamount 7 about 160 miles off Costa Rica is more fantastical than anything we could make up!" Levin wrote. "Thanks to @SchmidtOcean for bringing us here."
Levin and postdoctoral scholar Oliver Ashford have joined researchers from four other institutions aboard Schmidt Ocean Institute's research vessel Falkor for Costa Rica Deep Sea Connections, a 22-day cruise through a curious region of methane seeps, thermal anomalies, and seamounts where the Cocos Plate subducts beneath the Caribbean Plate.
"Many of the observations we hope to make of seep and seamount life offshore of Costa Rica will both contribute to fundamental understanding of the region’s biodiversity, and also help make the case for conservation of these areas," Levin wrote in an entry on the expedition's blog.
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