Expedition Aquatilis: An undersea odyssey to get to the bottom of the ocean's food chain


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The Independent Online

A team of scientists are hoping to discover new species of gelatinous zooplankton in a three year underwater journey through the world’s oceans.

The 12 researchers are hoping to find out more about the creatures, which form the basis of the marine food chain, but remain largely undiscovered.

Only around 1,000 species of gelata are known to science, estimated to be about 20 per cent of the world’s total. It is exceptionally difficult to study the creatures in a laboratory.

Expedition Aquatilis will cover 35,000 miles spanning the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans and will be led by the marine biologist and underwater photographer, Alexander Semenov, who took these images.


The team, will travel in a 70ft custom-built, self-sufficient expedition vessel, and is scheduled to depart from Marmaris, Turkey, in the summer of 2015. The expedition’s route is specifically designed around poorly explored diving locations and will focus on the study of gelatinous zooplankton.

The team hope to use crowdfunding to bankroll their expedition and are hoping to raise £891,000.

The places they will visit include the Azores, the Caribbean, Brazil, Argentina, Cape Horn, Chile, Peru, California Hawaii, New Zealand, the Great Barrier Reef, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, the Indian Ocean, Madagascar and Cape Town.