Explore under the ice in McMurdo Sound, Antarctica through the lenses of our cameras. These videos include footage recorded by the MOO's underwater camera as well as imagery captured by our team members' handheld cameras while working on and under the sea ice cover.
A Short Introduction
What is MOO? Learn the basics of this unique project by watching an introduction to the location, installation and functions of the McMurdo Oceanographic Observatory, established in November 2017. With support from the US Antarctic Program, our team installed the MOO on the sea floor, 70-feet (21m) below the sea ice cover in remote, frigid McMurdo Sound, Antarctica–the world's southernmost accessible marine environment, only 850 miles from the South Pole.
HABITATS at the MOO SITE
Where is MOO? Here we present a visual overview of McMurdo Sound underwater habitats near the MOO. Our divers swim you into a field of sponges sprouting from a muddy plain, along a rocky slope harboring a multitude of cold-adapted invertebrates and fishes, and through glistening fields of anchor ice–all just a few fin-kicks away from our icy research site in the southwestern Ross Sea, Antarctica.
MOO Camera Videos
A MOO Site Tour
An overview of our research site in McMurdo Sound, Antarctica. This video was recorded by the MOO's camera during one of its pre-programmed daily visual survey in November 2017. To the east and south we see the loose rock slope of the McMurdo Jetty. To the west and north is a muddy plain that gently descends towards the depths of McMurdo Sound. Invertebrate life abounds, young fishes school beneath the 8-foot-thick surface ice cover, and a Weddell seal makes a cameo appearance. Presented audio was recorded by the MOO simultaneously.
MOO Video Compilation
A selection of highlights recorded by the MOO in November 2017. Recordings such as these are started either manually–if something of interest is happening–or automatically during daily surveys. This video shows seals, invertebrates and notothenioid fishes as well as scientific divers working on various projects and finalizing the installation of the MOO. The audio was also recorded by the MOO, featuring Weddell seal vocalizations and the sounds of scientific divers working.
VIDEO TIMELAPSE - SOFT BOTTOM Community
A timelapse of video recorded from the MOO shows unexpectedly active small fishes on a relatively high-current day. The small antifreeze protein-bearing notothenioid fishes (genus Trematomus) stir up little puffs of sediment as they pick worms and other invertebrates off the surface of the mud. Finger sponges, soft corals and anemones bask in the current as a Weddell seal swims through the scene and a predatory cucumber-shaped comb jelly (ctenophore) floats lazily in front of the camera. The audio is Weddell Seal vocalizations presented in real-time (not accelerated) recorded around the same time.
Photo Timelapse - ROCKY REEF COMMUNITY
A test of the MOO's timelapse capabilities, composed of images captured at one of the camera's orientation waypoints (Light Tour #7) as it completed its daily visual site survey. Images were taken over about three weeks in Jan.–Feb. 2018, every few minutes for two hours per day. The MOO is now simultaneously recording timelapse images at more than thirty preprogrammed camera angles such as this, every hour of every day. These will be used to understand how the MOO site changes through time. The audio is real-time (not accelerated) orca (killer whale) vocalizations recorded by the MOO during the same period.
More Great Videos
Collecting Fishes for Science
Forget ice fishing from the surface! In McMurdo Sound many shallow-water species are better captured by going for a swim. In this video we're using sophisticated equipment (a typical green aquarium net) to capture primarily the extremely abundant notothenioid Trematomus bernacchii. Like other notothenoids, this species is fortified with antifreeze proteins and thereby thrives in the coldest waters around Antarctica where most other fishes would freeze solid instantly. Some of the collected specimens were used for research projects related to their freezing-avoidance abilities, while others were simply weighed, measured and released.
Close your eyes and virtually immerse yourself beneath the sea ice in the near-freezing waters of McMurdo Sound. Here we present two-hours of Weddell seal vocalizations recorded by the MOO along with an audio spectrogram–a visual representation of the sounds. These seals reside near the MOO year-round; most are probably about one mile (1.5km) away. The vertical axis shows sound frequency, the horizontal axis is time, and the color indicates the intensity of the sound. Depending on age, humans can hear sounds up to frequencies of 10 to 20 khz. The audio was recorded during the prime breeding season, when males are staking out their territory to gain access to the females.