Video Feed Live From 30 Meters

It has been a long year waiting to announce this.  Last year Dr. Adrian Glover, long time DSN fan from the Natural History Museum in London, showed me a live feed of camera mounted on a dead harbor porpoise from 30m in a fjord on the west coast of Sweden.  As we set there in a cafe, I watched invertebrates mounting an ongoing attack with intermittent flashes of seals blasting into view. I asked if I could share it with our readers but it was sealed lips until the launch of the Darwin Centre.

Finally, that day has arrived and the Darwin Centre realized as a new state-of-the-art gallery, science and collections facility. At the official opening on the 14th September, guests including His Royal Highness Prince William of Wales and Sir David Attenborough were shown the live link.  I am not sure why we needed to wait for a prince and knight.

The observatory is collaboration between Dr. Glover and University of Gothenburg Researcher Dr. Thomas Dahlgren and adds another link our ongoing endeavors to acquire continuous data from oceans, and our crucial to understanding how marine ecosystems function.  Already Glover and Dahlgreen have deployed the system to study the scavenging community behaviour on the remains of a dead whale, lobster-crab interactions in a lobster pot and fish behaviour (these can be seen on the projects Youtube Channel).  As Adrian states, “Even something simple like the decomposition of a small whale in shallow water is very poorly known. Until now we had to make do with ‘one-off’ visits using submersibles, remotely operated-vehicles or scuba divers.”

Dr. M (1729 Posts)

Craig McClain is the Assistant Director of Science for the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center, a National Science Foundation supported initiative. He has conducted deep-sea research for 20 years and published over 50 papers in the area. He has participated in and led dozens of oceanographic expeditions taken him to the Antarctic and the most remote regions of the Pacific and Atlantic. Craig’s research focuses on how energy drives the biology of marine invertebrates from individuals to ecosystems, specifically, seeking to uncover how organisms are adapted to different levels of carbon availability, i.e. food, and how this determines the kinds and number of species in different parts of the oceans. Craig’s research has been featured on National Public Radio, Discovery Channel, Fox News, National Geographic and ABC News. In addition to his scientific research, Craig also advocates the need for scientists to connect with the public and is the founder and chief editor of the acclaimed Deep-Sea News (, a popular ocean-themed blog that has won numerous awards. His writing has been featured in Cosmos, Science Illustrated, American Scientist, Wired, Mental Floss, and the Open Lab: The Best Science Writing on the Web. His forthcoming book, Science of the South (, connects cultural icons of South such as pecan pie with the science behind them.

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2 comments on “Video Feed Live From 30 Meters
  1. Thanks guys.

    However, to clarify, the main reason we have not made it public up to now is that the camera could not handle more than a few people logging on at once. Hopefully this new set-up can. We will see!

  2. I would like to as that the opening event included the first ever (as far as we know) underwater Skype communication. In his presentation at the opening Adrian worked in a live video chat with Bjorn Kallstrom diving at the observatory site!

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