Deep learning

RV Polarstern, the German research icebreaker

How can something so intrinsic to the human experience feel mystical at the same time? It’s a question we ponder as we browse through the entire showcase of Into The Deep, an extraordinary digital exhibition that was put together on World Oceans Day by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and MARUM – Center for Marine Environmental Sciences, University of Bremen, on Google Arts & Culture.

Centred on the expedition PS 119 of RV Polarstern, the largest ship of the German research fleet, it deep-dives into the mysteries of the sea, exploring the ocean floor of the Antarctic waters. The seven-week expedition was carried out in April last year, and included 51 scientists from Germany, USA, Costa Rica, Austria, Great Britain, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Chile, Taiwan, France, India, Slovenia, Spain and Switzerland.

It took us a good couple of days to get through the showcase — the longest time we’ve spent on any exhibition, let alone a virtual one — and neither did our enthusiasm nor intrigue die down. From furthering our middle-school understanding of tectonic plates to looking up hydrothermal vents and cold seeps, we did it all. The project features the most stunning photos and videos of the underwater world — have you ever seen smoke in the ocean? If the answer is no, look this up ASAP.

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