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Ocean

— Holiday Destinations

Dubai Water Discus hotel will allow guests to sleep underwater

It seems the construction boom in bustling Dubai is far from over – already home to several world record-holding projects, including the tallest building (for just a little while longer), the largest shopping mall and biggest man-made island, plans are now afoot to construct what will likely be the world's largest underwater luxury hotel, the Water Discus. Several years ago, we reported on another such ambitious project, Hydropolis, which sadly never got past the blueprint stage. If Polish company Deep Ocean Technology's (DOT) plans come to fruition, however, guests could one day find themselves asleep beneath the waters of the Persian Gulf. Read More
— Science

“Hydrate-phobic” surface coatings to keep oil and gas pipes flowing

By - April 11, 2012 1 Picture
As the world’s appetite for oil and gas continues to increase while access to easily accessible reserves decreases, deep-sea oil and gas wells are being positioned in ever-deeper waters. The dangers and difficulties faced in such operations were highlighted in 2010 with the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. While placing a containment dome over a leak and piping the oil to a surface storage vessel had worked on leaks in shallower water, the attempt to do the same on the Deepwater Horizon’s largest leak failed when the formation of methane hydrate crystals blocked the opening at the top of the dome. Now researchers at MIT have developed surface coatings that can inhibit the buildup of these methane hydrates and keep the gas and oil flowing. Read More
— Science

NASA's Perpetual Ocean animation turns ocean currents into art

By - April 2, 2012 1 Picture
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center is an unlikely entrant in the SIGGRAPH Computer Animation Festival. Its “Perpetual World” animation may have failed to appeal to the judging committee of the 2011 edition of the competition, but it sure succeeded in catching our eye. The jaw-dropping animation visualizes the flow of surface ocean currents around the world. The raw data regarding the currents from June 2005 through to December 2007 has been turned into a work of art reminiscent of van Gogh. Read More

TAT7 case keeps your iPhone camera clicking underwater

There was a time, back in the days of film cameras, when the only ways of getting underwater photos were to buy an expensive waterproof SLR, an expensive waterproof housing for a regular SLR, or a cheap disposable waterproof camera that took horrible shots. Now, all you have to do is buy a housing like the TAT7 iPhone Scuba Case, and start snapping high-res pics – assuming you’ve got the phone to go with it. Read More
— Marine

James Cameron snags world record for deepest possible solo dive

By - March 25, 2012 5 Pictures
On March 26 at 7:52am local time, film maker/explorer James Cameron entered the history books and became the first person to visit the ocean's deepest point alone. Just two weeks ago, we reported on his previous solo-dive record of 26,791 feet (8,166m), which he handily smashed by plunging 35,756 feet (10,898m) into the Mariana Trench's Challenger Deep southwest of Guam. If the handful of contenders still vying for the record want to beat Cameron, they'll now have to excavate, because that's as deep as it gets. Read More
— Marine

Subwing – it's sort of like water-skiing underwater

By - March 16, 2012 11 Pictures
We’ve probably all seen scuba divers on television, hitching rides on the backs of manta rays or sea turtles. For those of us who love the ocean, it looks like a near-magical experience, but ... you shouldn’t do it. Marine biologists will tell you that it’s simply a form of harassment, which the animals themselves don’t particularly enjoy. So, how can you replicate that “flying underwater” experience? Well, Norwegian inventor Simon Sivertsen would suggest you buy his boat-towed Subwing. Read More

Wave Glider aquatic robots set world record

On November 17th of last year, a group of four wave-powered autonomous aquatic robots set out from San Francisco, embarking on a planned 37,000-mile (60,000-km) trip across the Pacific ocean. Recently, the fleet of Wave Gliders completed the first leg of their journey, arriving at Hawaii’s Big Island after traveling over 3,200 nautical miles (5,926 km). By doing so, they have set a new distance record for unmanned wave-powered vehicles – that record previously sat at 2,500 nautical miles (4,630 km). Read More
— Marine

James Cameron performs deepest-ever solo sub dive, with a deeper one on the way

By - March 11, 2012 19 Pictures
Well-known film director and deep-sea explorer James Cameron is no stranger to setting records, but this time, instead of box office gross, he's setting his sights on something more akin to a single-handed lunar landing - a solo trip to the ocean's deepest point, the Challenger Deep in the Mariana Trench off Guam. Billionaire entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson is hard on Cameron's heels but it appears almost certain the genius behind the blockbusters Titanic and Avatar will be the first to get there alone - he just snagged the record for deepest solo dive off Papua New Guinea on March 6th with a depth of 26,791′ (8.2km). Read More
— Good Thinking

New system "works with the ocean" to plan best routes for autonomous subs

By - March 9, 2012 4 Pictures
Autonomous underwater vehicles, better known as AUVs, are increasingly finding use in applications such as oceanographic research, mapping, military reconnaissance, and deep-sea oil-well maintenance. As these independent underwater robots make their way through the world’s oceans, they use GPS transceivers to keep themselves on a predetermined route. When they encounter challenges such as cross-currents, one might assume that their best course of action would be simply to power straight across them, in order to travel the shortest distance possible. Engineers from MIT, however, have developed a system that allows AUVs to reach their destinations sooner, by traveling out of their way to “go with the flow.” Read More
— Marine

Restube - a lightweight, compressed-air lifesaver deployed upon incident

By - February 28, 2012 3 Pictures
Most anyone that can swim can handle a float across the pool without significant risk of drowning, but being out on a large, open body of water like the ocean or a lake brings dangers to even the surest swimmer. While a personal flotation device (PFD) is a simple solution that will keep you afloat, it can be restricting and cumbersome to wear, making it uncomfortable for athletic activities like surfing or kiteboarding. The Restube gives you some of the life-saving power of a traditional flotation device without the unwanted bulk and discomfort. Read More

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