Fragile Oasis

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Climbing Mountains Under the Sea

Editor's note: Have a question for Cady about her exploration here on Earth? Ask her live at 1:30pm Eastern time Wednesday, August 15, 2012. Select 'participate' while you watch from the Nautilus Live website.

What’s a nice girl from the International Space Station doing on a ship in the middle of the Mediterranean – climbing a mountain? I’m currently aboard the E/V Nautilus, a 210 foot research vessel, exploring the Eratosthenes Seamount off the southern coast of Cyprus.

Hobbes and I on the deck of the Nautilus (left) and Hercules, (right) one of two undersea robots that collect geological and biological samples.

Hobbes, the plush tiger who traveled to space with me, the crew of the Nautilus, and I are "climbing" this ancient undersea mountain that rises from 3,000 feet below the surface of the Mediterranean Sea. We’re exploring with scientific robots in search of unique geological and biological phenomena to help better understand planet Earth.


The Eratosthenes Seamount is located in the Mediterranean southwest of Cyprus. This is a view of the area photographed from the International Space Station 22:50 GMT March 27, 2012. Credit: NASA