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"... the critical thing is to be able to take the human mind down into that environment... to be able to turn your head and look around to see what the relationships are between organisms in a community and to see how they're behaving—to turn off all the lights and just sit there and watch and not frighten the animals, so that they behave normally. That is almost impossible to do with an ROV."


Patricia Fryer, Marine Geologist, speaking about James Cameron's (of Titanic/Avatar fame) 2012 venture to Challenger Deep, 11 000 m below the ocean's surface, a record-setting solo journey (for humans, at least!). [4]




“Scattered and fairly widely separated observations from ships could give only broad picture [sic] of regional or oceanwide patterns.”

Steele (1989) [5]


It’s like going from Model T to the Tesla,”

OceanGate CEO Stockton Rush, contrasting the first submersibles with today's vehicles (2013) [2]

Dutch engineer Cornelis Drebbel is thought to have constructed the world's first navigable submarine in 1620, although there is some debate regarding the authenticity of this claim.



"But now we have satellite remote sensing technology that provides us with a much more comprehensive view of the oceans on literally a daily basis.


Oregon State University professor Dr. Michael Behrenfeld (2010) [6]




  1. UCSan Diego. (2018). "R/V E.W. Scripps, 1936". Retrieved from https://library.ucsd.edu/dc/object/bb2594925s

  2. Hickey, H. (2013). "UW, local company building innovative deep-sea manned submarine". Retrieved from https://www.washington.edu/news/2013/10/08/uw-local-company-building-innovative-deep-sea-manned-submarine/

  3. Jet Propulsion Laboratory. (2017). "Veteran Ocean Satellite to Assume Added Role". Retrieved from https://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.php?feature=6890

  4. National Geographic. (2012). "James Cameron Completes Record-Breaking Mariana Trench Dive". Retrieved from https://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2012/03/120325-james-cameron-mariana-trench-challenger-deepest-returns-science-sub/

  5. Steele, J.H. (1989). “The ocean ‘landscape’”. Landscape Ecology, 3(3/4), 185-192.

  6. Oregon State University. (2010). "Old theory of phytoplankton growth overturned, raise concerns for ocean productivity." Retrieved from https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100716140917.htm

Last revised: April 19, 2020​