Despite covering over 70% of the Earth’s surface, mankind has only explored and charted a paltry 5% of the world’s oceans. A new multipurpose, state-of-the-art scientific research, media production, and exploration vessel is aiming to change that however with the launching of what’s been christened the “OceanXplorer.”
Spanning 286 feet, the vessel was originally constructed as an off-shore survey ship, though was more recently fully gutted and retrofitted by Dutch outfit, Damen Shiprepair. Designed with help from blockbuster film director and explorer, James Cameron, the OceanXplorer features a resident helicopter housed in a climate-controlled hangar, onboard molecular biology, and imaging laboratories, onsite DNA sequencing capabilities, two manned Triton submersibles that can reach depths of more than 3,280’, a remotely-operated vehicle, an autonomous underwater vehicle that can dive to nearly 20,000’, and a 40-ton A-frame crane for launching and recovering said crafts. The vessel is also the only ship in the world capable of utilizing 8K RED cameras at a depth of 6,000 meters. In addition to live streaming feeds to schools, the ship has also inked deals with BBC to produce multiple specials documenting the ship’s research and exploration. To see more of this ambitious project, you can check out the full press release linked below.