Thousands of shipping containers are lost from cargo vessels each year. Many of these containers eventually sink to the deep seafloor. In 2004, researchers at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) discovered a lost shipping container almost 1,300 meters (4,200 feet) below the surface of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. In the first ever survey of its kind, researchers from MBARI and the Sanctuary recently described how deep-sea animal communities on and around the container differed from those in surrounding areas.
The red dots seen in some of the underwater footage are lasers mounted on the remotely operated submersible. The lasers are 29 cm apart and allow the scientists to estimate animal size.
Credit: Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI)