2023 Expedition Preview

A flange on the side of a chimney in the Lost City Field is topped with dendritic carbonate growths.NSF (University of Washington/Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

In 2023, the neverending journey continues, as Falkor (too) sails across the Atlantic to Puerto Rico and begins its mission as a vessel dedicated and designed for science. Our first expedition will explore the mid-Atlantic Ridge – an underwater mountain range approximately four times the length of the North American Rockies.

The expedition will seek out new hydrothermal vents, including Lost Cities – ghostly vent fields with a chemical make-up thought to be most similar to when life began on earth. Falkor (too) will then return to Puerto Rico to assist in testing new sensor technologies for determining the health of corals. 

In the Spring, Falkor (too) will travel through the Panama Canal to Costa Rica and aid in investigating octopus nursery grounds along cold water seeps. While the octopus is typically considered a solitary creature, this is a known ecosystem where they congregate and tend their eggs together. 

A brooding octopus seen at 1219m deep on ROV SuBastian’s Dive 389 off Osprey Reef, Australia.

After peering into the world of the octopus, Falkor (too) will assist scientists querying how hydrothermal vents disperse larvae, viruses, and bacteria. The ship will continue work in the Galápagos Islands to better understand the poorly studied Galápagos Western Spreading Center – sister to the Eastern Spreading Center – where hydrothermal vents were first discovered. In addition to the Galápagos’ hydrothermal vents, scientists will research cold-water coral reefs growing on submerged cliffs. 

The year will be one of many firsts as Falkor (too) begins its quest as a vessel for bold exploration and expanding understanding of our Earth’s one connected Ocean. More details on each expedition will be available on the website soon.


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