The submersible DeepSee

Hundreds of thousands of seamounts rise from Earth’s ocean floor. Life has been explored on barely 300.

The submersible DeepSee, some 600 feet below the surface of the Pacific, descends into a volcanic vent of the seamount Las Gemelas.   Image © Brian Skerry/National Geographic



A harbor seal peers from a kelp forest on Cortes Bank

Image © Brian Skerry/National Geographic

A harbor seal peers from a kelp forest on Cortes Bank, a series of undersea peaks and plateaus off the coast of San Diego. This shallow, light-filled summit supports a wide variety of animals and plants.



The images are in the September 2012 issue of National Geographic magazine, on newsstands August 28.

A diver explores a shallow, coral-encrusted seamount slope near Raja Ampat

Image © Brian Skerry/National Geographic

A diver explores a shallow, coral-encrusted seamount slope near Raja Ampat, Indonesia; the remotely operated vehicle can descend to survey deeper reaches.

source National Geographic