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Crossing the Atlantic in a Pedal-Powered Sub

by Miranda Trimmier 

Tags: Science and technology, ecology, pedal powered submarine, Ted Ciamillo, Atlantic Ocean, marine biology, New Scientist,

ocean water

Most people would just write a press release, but Ted Ciamillo devised a flashier way to draw attention to the pedal-powered submarine he invented: Later this year, he’s taking it on a solo mission across the Atlantic and giving himself just 50 days to complete the journey. According to the New Scientist, the undertaking may prove more than a publicity stunt. Some scientists are convinced the trip will be a milestone in research on marine life.

Ciamillo will spend his days pedaling at a relatively shallow depth, about 2 meters below the sea surface. Surprisingly, scientists know very little about this region of the ocean, in part because current research methods are noisy, disruptive, and piecemeal. Because the sub is small and has no motor—and because it will be spending such a sustained amount of time in the water—some think it could provide valuable insight about ocean life at this depth. As a result, Ciamillo is working with researchers to prep the sub for data-gathering, fitting it out with high-resolution video cameras and making plans to meet up with support boats along his journey, which will provide him with fresh batteries and video tapes.

We'll learn more about what Ciamillo finds when the trip gets under way next November. Until then, you can read more about his plans on his project website.

Image courtesy of Christopher Thomas, licensed under Creative Commons.

(Thanks, Seed.)