Space & Innovation

Psychedelic Images of Ocean's Hidden Features

Mysterious underwater imagery created by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration researchers is almost psychedelic-like.

This image was created from sonar sensing of the Maug Caldera, a volcanic crater in the Pacific Ocean. The caldera was formed long ago after a massive eruption caused the summit of this volcano to collapse. Credit: Pacific Ring of Fire 2004 Expedition. NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration; Dr. Bob Embley, NOAA PMEL, Chief Scientist

Here's a view of Basin 1 in the Havre Trough, more than 11,000 feet below the waters off the coast of New Zealand's North Island. The rough seabed is an area where the Earth's crust is being pulled apart. Credit: NOAA / New Zealand American Submarine Ring of Fire 2007

Alderice Bank, off the Gulf Coast of Texas and Louisiana, features spectacular 60-foot-tall basalt spires that are 77 million years old. They're the oldest known exposed rocks in the area. Credit: D. Weaver, NOAA/NOS/FGBNMS, Dr. Jim Gardner, USGS

The Bear Seamount is a guyot, or flat-topped, volcano. It's the oldest part of the New England Seamount chain, and was formed 100 million years ago. Credit: NOAA

This area, part of the northeast U.S. continental slope off the coast of New England, is a popular fishing area. The topography is depicted through the use of data collected by a robotic vehicle. Credit: NOAA

Here's a view of Monterey Canyon, Davidson Seamount, Shepard Meander, and other features of the seabed off the coast of central California. The area, part of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, is full of life ranging from coral forests to sponge fields. Credit: NOAA

This imagery of the Monterey Canyon System required data from 40,000 soundings to create. It depicts 9,000 square miles of the sea floor in Monterey Bay off the coast of Central California. The area has been called the undersea version of the Grand Canyon. Credit: NOAA / Image generated by Steve Matula, NOS