What would the oceans look like if humans never existed? Soon we may find out. Last week, National Geographic launched an expedition to some of the world’s most isolated waters in the South Pacific. Departing from Tahiti, the group will explore and document the islands and atolls of the southern Line Islands, which are largely uninhabited and so far from any industrialized area that commercial fishermen have never ventured into its waters. They’re going to spend the next six weeks posting their findings on the tremendous new Ocean Now website.
Leading the expedition is marine biologist and National Geographic Fellow Dr. Enric Sala, who was instrumental in helping to establish the new national marine monument in January of this year (read our interview with him here after the announcement). The route of the current expedition has been mapped out – and the best part is that you can follow along, posing questions to the crew and tracking their findings as they go. The latest update from the site is from Sala himself, who just returned from a dive off Vostok Island which he called the “best of his life.” From his most recent blog post, he writes:
A few days ago, I went on the best dive of my life. My team and I spent hours underwater studying the reefs surrounding Vostok Island. It was incredible–massive schools of fish, sharks, beautiful corals. This is as pristine as the ocean gets, more pristine than Flint Island, and even more than Kingman Reef. Vostok Island and the waters surrounding it rank among our planet’s natural wonders, a priceless natural treasure that should be protected for the ages.
Be sure to check out the site, and sign up for updates from the crew on where they’re headed next.
- Nat Geo Expeditions