Ocean-exploring robot could search for lost cities and shipwrecks

Ocean-exploring robot could search for lost cities and shipwrecks

During a recent moonlight excursion around the harbor, the conversation quickly turned to tales of piracy and exploration.

A guide shared stories of the days when tall masts and billowing sails loomed over coastal horizons, and intriguing characters like Blackbeard and Redbeard plied the seas.

We couldn’t help but wonder about the secrets that went down with the shipwrecks and lost artifacts scattered across the ocean floor. But these sites are hidden deep in the waves where humans can’t normally reach.

However, an explorer is venturing to places that no human being has visited before.

secrets of the ocean

At first glance, OceanOneK looks a bit like a diver descending through the waters off the coast of France.

Researchers at Stanford University designed the robot to dive underwater and explore sunken planes, ships, submarines, and perhaps even lost cities. And this year, the humanoid robot reached a new milestone when it plunged half a mile (852 meters) below the surface of the ocean.

The robot has hands that can cradle priceless artifacts. and bring them to the surface and stereoscopic eyes that capture the world of the deep in full color.

But another feature makes the robot even more special: a touch-based feedback system. This interactivity allows your operators feel everything they might experience if they were diving themselves: the resistance of the water and touching objects like vases and oil lamps from an ancient Roman ship.

Curiosities

Archaeologists have discovered telltale timbers that may have belonged to a centuries-old shipwreck, one that likely inspired the cult classic “The Goonies.”

A team of volunteers found more than 20 pieces of wood in a cave off the Oregon coast in June. The logs belonged to the 1693 shipwreck of the Santo Cristo de Burgos.

The Spanish galleon was not laden with treasure, but local lore and the ship’s mysterious fate have become history over time, possibly enough to inspire Steven Spielberg when he created his 1985 film about teenagers in Astoria in search of the a pirate’s treasure off the Oregon coast.

The discovery has reignited interest in searching for more parts of the wreck. After all, “The Goonies never say To die!”

Fantastic creatures

King penguins have reappeared in Tierra del Fuego at the tip of South America after initially disappearing.

Penguins may reign in Antarctica, but they also live in the wild in Patagonia in South America. In these remote places, scientists and conservationists dedicate their lives to protecting flightless seabirds.

Gentoo, Magellanic and King penguins act as beacons for how ecosystems are responding to the climate crisis.

“It is the perfect animal to get to know the ocean better,” said marine biologist Andrea Raya Rey.

The king penguin colony in Tierra del Fuego disappeared 200 years ago due to overhunting, but they have unexpectedly returned.
Learn more during Sunday’s episode of CNN’s documentary series “Patagonia: Life on the Edge of the World” at 9 pm ET/PT. Each new episode of the six-part series will be available on CNNgo the day after it airs on television. You can also access CNNgo through our CNN app.

Through the universe

Astronomers have found a “black widow” in space, and this dead star has grown to record size by feasting on another celestial object.

Like its namesake arachnid, the neutron star is devouring its companion star. This pulsing cosmic beacon also spins at a dizzying 707 times per second.

The neutron star, or the dense collapsed remains of a colossal star, weighs more than twice the mass of our sun, making it the heaviest ever observed. When these objects get too heavy, they usually collapse and form a black hole, so this could be the limit for neutron stars.

Dino-mite!

The Gorgosaurus fossil is mounted to show how the dinosaur walked on two hind legs.

Meet a rare Gorgosaurus, a relative of T. rex, but with more speed and a stronger bite. The 77-million-year-old fossil sold for just over $6 million this week during a Sotheby’s auction.

This specimen is just one of a handful of dinosaur skeletons to have made it to the bidding block, a trend that worries scientists. When fossils are auctioned, they may end up in private collections, meaning paleontologists can’t study them.

It is unknown who bought the “ferocious lizard”, but the buyer will have the unusual opportunity to name it.

scans

Get comfortable with these reads:

— Fossils show sharks have been on Earth longer than trees and dinosaurs, and an ocean phenomenon is bringing them closer to shore this summer.
— The first mission to return samples from another planet will land on Earth in 2033, and two Ingenuity-style helicopters will help retrieve the Martian rocks.
— Photographer Joel Sartore is on a mission to capture images of 20,000 species to prevent the extinction of creatures large and small. See some of these endangered species through Sartore’s lens.
And keep an eye on the night sky this weekend for a meteor shower. Here’s how to watch.
Do you like what you have read? Oh, but there is more. sign up here to get the next issue of Wonder Theory, hosted by CNN Space and Science writer, delivered to your inbox ashley stricklandthat finds wonders on planets beyond our solar system and discoveries of the ancient world.

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