That’s no moon, that’s a bulk cutter

First watch the video above. Last week, I posted on Nautilus’s, that company that is going to delicately mine hydrothermal vents, bright new shiny 310 ton toy to pillage the deep.  The video above gives you a much better idea of both how insanely large the vehicle is but how it approximates the deep-sea mining version of the Death Star.

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 “That’s no moon, that’s a bulk cutter
  1. Biggest mining industry in 50 years? God lets hope not. Were already altering the natural state of oceans enough as it is, deploying thousands of these things would be an atrocity

  2. I second that Drew.

    Dr. M, is there any research slated to be done into the long term effects of mining the deep? From experience beaches that are in proximity to dredging are typically impacted pretty heavily by coarse grain sediment being deposited on the beach. I wonder what will happen with all the waste that is pulled up while looking for bits of gold and silver.

    And another mildly related question: Who owns the deep ocean?

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