Your Questions for Ocean Explorer Bob Ballard

From his unforgettable discovery of the wreck of Titanic to the possibly less-remembered effort to bring the Loch Ness Monster to light, National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Dr. Robert Ballard has been at the cutting edge of underwater exploration for decades. On the evening of December 14, he’ll be participating with Boyd Matson and Nobel Laureate in Physics Dr. John Mather in an NG Live! event called “Exploring the Edge of Existence.” But before he does, he’ll join NG fans around the world for a live video chat on the Nat Geo Facebook page.


What Lies Beneath

His discovery of the deep-sea “black smokers” and their surrounding colonies of animals that live at scorching temperatures in toxic chemicals, removed from any vestige of sunlight revolutionized our understanding of the conditions where life can survive and even thrive, on Earth and elsewhere.

Through the distance-learning JASON Project, Ballard brings the latest technology and discoveries from the field into classrooms around the world, reaching more than 1.7 million students and 38,000 teachers annually.

His current project, which you can follow at uses remote vehicles and teams of linked-up experts around the world to explore the unknown reaches of the ocean floor, in a 24-7 search for not-even-he-knows-what. As Ballard likes to point out, we literally know more about the surface of the moon than we do about the bottom of the sea.


You Be the Explorer

Now you get to be the explorer and discover what stories and thoughts still lie beneath those trademark baseball caps of his. Join Ballard and fans from every corner of the globe in a live video chat on the National Geographic Facebook page, Wednesday Dec. 14, at 3:30pm EST (8:30pm UT).





Human Journey


Meet the Author
Andrew Howley is a longtime contributor to the National Geographic blog, with a particular focus on archaeology and paleoanthropology generally, and ancient rock art in particular. In 2018 he became Communications Director at Adventure Scientists, founded by Nat Geo Explorer Gregg Treinish. Over 11 years at the National Geographic Society, Andrew worked in various ways to share the stories of NG explorers and grantees online. He also produced the Home Page of for several years, and helped manage the Society's Facebook page during its breakout year of 2010. He studied Anthropology with a focus on Archaeology from the College of William & Mary in Virginia. He has covered expeditions with NG Explorers-in-Residence Mike Fay, Enric Sala, and Lee Berger. His personal interests include painting, running, and reading about history. You can follow him on Twitter @anderhowl and on Instagram @andrewjhowley.