The oceans are vast, dark, and deep.

When you truly stop to examine just how far down the waters go, the scale of it is staggering to the imagination. Consider the fact that according to NASA, we know more about the surface of Mars than we do of our oceans.

In December of 2017, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) conducted a mission to explore the deepest parts of the Gulf of Mexico. The team aboard the Okeanos Explorer mapped the seafloor over 6,500 feet below sea level. They also learned more about the diversity of marine life in the crushing deeps, and took a stunning collection of photos of what they found.

Coiled tip of bamboo coral growing out of seafloor sediment.

Snake star coiled among coral and larger, spiny sea stars.

A spider crab hitches a ride on a giant isopod.

A comb jellyfish (ctenophore) swimming above the seafloor.

A coronate medusa colliding with the seafloor.

A cusk eel found at 5,200 feet (1,585 meters).

A colonial tuscarorid phaeodarean feeds on marine snow at 2,300 feet (701 meters).

A sea toad encountered on the seafloor at 2,428 feet (740 meters).

A dense community of sea stars have made this craggy peak their home.

There are plenty more images of bizarre creatures where those came from. Check them out HERE.

h/t: NOAA | Curiosity

If you liked reading this, you should also check out:

7 Facts About Sharks You Probably Didn’t Know

http://didyouknowfacts.com/13-world-geology-taken-space/