Leg 2 of the Okeanos Explorer expedition 2015 Hohonu Moana: Exploring Deep Waters off Hawaiʻi captured amazing images of deep sea creatures, some never-before-seen species, in unexplored areas in the remote deep Pacific.
The expedition explored deep water in and around Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. Eighteen remotely operated vehicle dives were involved, some as deep as 4,829 meters.
In this photo, a sea star can be seen feeding on bamboo coral. Sea stars are predators of invertebrates and feed by inverting their guts on their prey.
Squid: Walvisteuthis youngorum
A squid, Walvisteuthis youngorum, is imaged at 2,952 feet during today's mid-water transects off Northeast Gardner Pinnacles in the Northwest Hawaiian Islands.
A deep-sea ophidiid fish Bassozetus sp. is photographed on a ridge off Salmon Bank in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands.
A long-legged shrimp Nematocarcinus tenuisrostris is seen, perching on a top of a glass sponge north of Gardner Pinnacles in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands.
A solitary hydroid Brachyocerianthus sp. is photographed on a deep-sea ridge southeast of Pearl and Hermes Atoll in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands.
Brittle star and deep-sea coral
A commensal brittle star on a deep-sea pink coral is photographed at Salmon Bank in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands.
A deep-sea anemone Exocoealactis sp. is photographed on a rift zone ridge off Pioneer Bank in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands.
A squat lobster Munidopsis sp. is photographed at a depth of 9,071 feet on a crater east of Maro Reef in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands.
A polynoid polychaete worm imaged at 15,748 feet during the deepest dive ever conducted inside the Papahānumokuākea Marine National Monument.
Deep-sea corals and sponges provide habitat and refuge for many other animals living on or near the seafloor. Here, a sponge covered with hundreds to thousands of tiny anemones also provides a home to several brittlestars (pink), crinoids or "sea lilies" (yellow), and a basket star (brown).
This is a deep-sea gorgonian coral Iridogorgia magnispiralis. Individuals of this species can attain sizes approaching 20 feet, thereby making them the largest deep-sea coral known to date.
A large stalked sponge (Bolosoma sp.) provides a home for a myriad of brittlestars and crustacean associates.
Polychaete worm on a deep-sea anemone
A polychaete worm rests on a deep-sea anemone north of Gardner Pinnacles in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands.
A very large spectacular stalked sponge (Caulophacus sp.) encountered during an ROV dive.