Remembering Nereus, Explorer of Ocean Depths

9:30 minutes

The robotic deep-sea submersible Nereus was destroyed while diving over six miles beneath the surface in the Kermadec Trench off the New Zealand coast, researchers reported this week. Parts of the unmanned vehicle are thought to have imploded under pressure as great as 16,000 pounds per square inch during the dive, which was planned to help study deep-sea ecosystems. The submersible was one of only four vehicles to have explored the Challenger Deep in the Mariana Trench, the deepest part of the oceans. Timothy Shank, a marine biologist at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute and chief scientist on the HADES mission, describes Nereus and what its loss might mean for deep-sea research.

Segment Guests

Tim Shank

Tim Shank is a marine biologist and chief scientist of the Hadal Ecosystems Study (HADES) project at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Woods Hole, Massachusetts.

Meet the Producer

About Charles Bergquist

As Science Friday’s director, Charles Bergquist channels the chaos of a live production studio into something sounding like a radio program. Favorite topics include planetary sciences, chemistry, materials, and shiny things with blinking lights.

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