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Under the Pacific: Images from the Visions 2005 Project

White Octopus at Mothra

(Image credit: Visions '05 Expedition/Neptune Project/U. of Washington/NSF)

This rare white octopus was caught on camera during a dive on the Mothra hydrothermal vent field.

A stalked Crinoid

(Image credit: Visions '05 Expedition/Neptune Project/U. of Washington/NSF)

This animal is an echinoderm (related to sea stars) called a crinoid. Its feathery arms capture food that drifts down from above.

By the Wind Sailor

(Image credit: Visions )

This By the Wind Sailor, Velella velella, is a type of colonial jelly.

Tubeworms and Palm worms

(Image credit: Visions '05 Expedition/Neptune Project/U. of Washington/NSF)

Tubeworms (Ridgeia piscesae) and palm worms (Paralvinella palmiformis) live in the warm water that diffuses out of the sulfide chimneys. The hydrogen sulfide in the hydrothermal fluid supports microbes that feed these organisms.

Tubeworms and Spider crabs

(Image credit: Visions '05 Expedition/Neptune Project/U. of Washington/NSF)

Spider crabs (Macroregonia macrochira) feeding on tube worms (Ridgeia piscesae).

Debbie Kelley and the Stowaway

(Image credit: Visions '05 Expedition/Neptune Project/U. of Washington/NSF)

Co-chief scientist Debbie Kelley brings the stowaway spider crab in the main lab.

Humpback whale

(Image credit: Visions '05 Expedition/Neptune Project/U. of Washington/NSF)

Photograph of a humpback whale in the water.

Phytoplankton

(Image credit: Visions '05 Expedition/Neptune Project/U. of Washington/NSF)

Biologists believe that bacterial plankton accounts for 80% or more of all photosynthetic activity in the open ocean.

Mothra sulfide structures

(Image credit: Visions '05 Expedition/Neptune Project/U. of Washington/NSF)

Typical landscape of tall, slender sulfide structures in the Mothra hydrothermal vent field.

Brittle star

(Image credit: Visions '05 Expedition/Neptune Project/U. of Washington/NSF)

This delicate brittle star came all the way up from 2150 meters depth attached to an instrument retrieved by the elevator.

Crab reaching to touch Jason`s Arm

(Image credit: Visions '05 Expedition/Neptune Project/U. of Washington/NSF)

Curious crabs commonly crawl onto equipment. This one, located on the side of the sulfide chimney called Roane, has extended nearly its entire body out away from the wall of the chimney to reach one of the arms of the robotic vehicle Jason.