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MAR-ECO story sent to Jerry Schubel

The Census of Marine Life Pilot Project MAR-ECO
“Patterns and processes of the ecosystems of the northern mid-Atlantic”


Exploring the Frontiers of Knowledge
We invite you to be with us - on an adventure, to meet unknown challenges in the mid-Atlantic - to boldly go where man has never gone before, in ways he has never explored before. 

Early explorers feared that they risked falling off the edge of the earth if they ventured too far from land, and thus avoided the mid-Atlantic.  Later explorers told tales of enormous monsters, and voyages fraught with danger.  Today we still have the mysteries of the Bermuda Triangle, and unexplained disappearances, such as occurred in the Perfect Storm.

Come exploring with us!
Why do people explore?  Are they searching for new sources of food, new places to live, escaping from problem situations, or are they simply curious?

This year people in Norway celebrate the centenary of one of the last great marine expeditions led by Johan Hjort.  A Scot, Murray, funded the expedition.  This picture shows both Hjort and Murray on the deck of the research vessel, Michael Sars. 

Visitors to Bergen Museum today will still see portions of the vast collection assembled by Hjort's intrepid team.

Where shall we explore?
Do you know that we know less about the deep ocean than we do about Mars? 

This picture from the NOAA National Geophysical Data Center shows the mid-Atlantic ridge.

Why is it there? How does it affect the ocean waters around it? Does anything live there?

Let's find out!!

MAR-ECO is just one of the projects in the Census of Life 10-year programme to learn more about the world's oceans.

How will we get there? All aboard!!
One hundred years ago, marine explorers were at the mercy of winds and currents in their travels.

Today's ships are equipped with the latest technology both for navigating and for collecting data.

Norway is building a new state-of-the-art research vessel, the G.O. Sars.
One of her maiden voyages will be to explore the mid-Atlantic ridge. She will explore the waters around the ridge for two months during the summer of 2004.

Would you like to be on board?
Come with us and be a virtual explorer. Scientists now routinely virtually explore environments that are physically inaccessible. Marine researchers will take advantage of this technology to discover what kind of creatures live around the ridge. You can "come with them too" and see, for example, images of the kinds of creatures that live in the deep ocean waters.

What are we going to find out?

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