What’s it like to be with Sylvia Earle at the bottom of the sea? Find out in Beyond Blue, a new short film created by Kip Evans, Mission Blue’s director of expeditions and photography. National Geographic Society Explorer in Residence Dr. Sylvia Earle, called a Living Legend by the Library of Congress, first Hero for the Planet by Time Magazine and 2014 Woman of the Year by Glamour, spoke with Evans in this exclusive interview 1,000 feet below the waves at Cocos Island, Costa Rica – a Mission Blue Hope Spot – in Undersea Hunter’s DeepSee submersible during Mission Blue’s recent expedition to the island in partnership with Fusion. Watch it here:
As an oceanographer, explorer, author and lecturer who has led over 100 expeditions and logged over 7,000 hours underwater, Dr. Earle is a pioneer in deep-sea exploration and research. In Beyond Blue, her passion for the ocean is apparent as she describes what she sees and feels throughout the dive. “It’s possible to get below the surface, and to really get an idea of what life is like in the twilight zone and in the deep sea beyond,” she says from inside the submersible. Her face glows and smiles as she watches a fish on the deep seafloor.
Once the submersible reaches the bottom at 1,000 feet, Dr. Earle describes their surroundings and the importance of exploring the deep sea:
Most of the ocean is cold and dark. Most of what is known about the ocean is in that upper 1,000 feet or so. You look at a spot on the map and if you only know what’s at the surface you don’t really know what’s going on, any more than you would know about New York City if you just looked at the tops of the buildings. It’s really important to have information about what’s in the deep sea. Being here in a little submarine, illustrating the nature of what’s here – it’s not just rocks and water. It’s a living system; the water itself is full of life.
Beyond Blue was produced during a Mission Blue and Fusion expedition to Cocos Island in March 2015 that brought together a group of conservation advocates from around the globe to explore what Jacques Cousteau called “the most beautiful island in the world.” Cocos is home to some of Earth’s largest schools of hammerhead sharks including the endangered scalloped hammerhead, which is being hunted for its fins and exported to China in violation of international agreements. With Fusion’s environmental correspondent, Nicolas Ibarguen, leading the way, the Fusion team documented this spectacular journey for Shark Land – a new show that premiered on Fusion on World Oceans Day (Monday June 8th). Watch the trailer here: