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NOAA Offers Virtual Tours Beneath the Gulf of Mexico

The remotely operated vehicles, Seirios and Deep Discoverer, are seen aboard NOAA's Okeanos ship.
From shipwrecks to marine life and from deep-sea canyons and coral life, you can watch it all from the comfort of your home through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) virtual underwater tour of the Gulf of Mexico.

The live stream will be available through the end of the month, according to a NOAA statement. If you can’t watch live, the videos will be archived for later viewing.

The broadcasts are loosely narrated by NOAA scientists. During today’s mission, for example, scientists came up on an interesting pink star fish burrowed in the seafloor.

The high definition video will be provided by a remotely operated vehicles (ROVs), Deep Discoverer and Seirios, off the NOAA ship Okeanos. The ROVs are capable of diving up to 3,000 meters below the surface.

One highlight will occur April 22 when ROV will explore a deep-sea canyon, cataloging the various features and species encountered.

Other missions will take the ROVs to salt domes and gas seeps, NOAA said.

On April 24, scientists will turn the ROV onto a shipwreck to determine its historical importance.

In addition to offering the virtual tours, NOAA says the data collected by the missions will help them “how species and features may be connected across the Gulf, and help NOAA and other ocean managers make better-informed decisions.”

Last year, the same ship offered a virtual tour of the North Atlantic Ocean, drawing nearly 1 million viewers, NOAA said.

Here's the live stream:
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