“I’d like to be – under the sea – in an octopus’s garden – in the shade” – The Beatles, Octopus’s Garden.
Today, the ROV and the samples taken in the Norwegian trench uncovered huge numbers of octopi. I am sure that the Beatles must have imagined the Octopus’s garden to be in the North Sea.
The mud samples coming up with the grab is so thick it takes us ten minutes to filter the sand from the shells, worms and other marine organisms. You can almost cut a piece of the mud like a piece of cake!
The ROV’s high resolution camera has allowed us to study dozens of rocks full of small crabs, nephrops, sponges, sealillies, snails and even a monk fish. On this muddy bottom anything that sticks out becomes completely covered with life.
However, we came across many other rocks which were not so fortunate and that were turned over or moved by trawlers. Between the rocks that were disturbed by the trawler and those that have avoided disruption you really see a world of difference!