A 40-day exploration of the deep Kermadec Trench offshore of New Zealand is slated to begin today (April 12). Kermadec is the second deepest ocean trench in the world, plunging 32,963 feet (10,047 meters) below the sea surface. Currents flowing from Antarctica also make Kermadec's waters among the coldest of the deep ocean trenches.
Scientists plan to explore the dark depths with remotely operated vehicles, baited cameras and landers. The goal is to collect images and samples of the unusual marine life that survives in the immense pressures of the deep sea. The project is described as the first systemic study of life in a deep ocean trench. Researchers will chronicle their exploration of the Kermadec Trench with blog posts, images and live video at the expedition website, called Hades.