It's a fact that's worth repeating: we've sent more people to walk on the moon than we've sent to explore the deepest part of our oceans. But it's easier to prepare for the lack of atmospheric pressure in space than it is the crushing pressure under miles and miles of water.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has been poking around the deep waters of the Mariana Trench, the deepest point on Earth, this year with the Okeanos Explorer. The repurposed Navy surveillance vessel is outfitted with advanced underwater probes, cameras and sensors.
At its deepest point, the floor of the Mariana Trench, located in the Pacific Ocean, is 36,037 feet (10,984 meters) below sea level. While the latest expedition didn't explore that spot — known as Challenger Deep — it did investigate other rarely visited areas of the trench.
When the NOAA expedition launched earlier this year, the scientists quickly discovered some pretty cool animals deep underwater, including blind lobsters, anemones living atop hermit crabs and glowing jellyfish. The third leg of the exploration just wrapped up, so it seems like the perfect time to check in on some of the interesting discoveries and weird creatures spotted. Check out some of the pictures below:
And to wrap up, let's check out this video of the expedition's first fish sighting. Spotting a fish at these depths is cool in and of itself, but the scientists get particularly excited because this is the first time a fish of this eel-like species has ever been seen alive: