National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Enric Sala is setting off on his first big expedition of the year: to explore the remote islands of Desventuradas, hundreds of miles off the coast of Chile.
The Desventuradas Islands (the 'unfortunate islands' in Spanish), located 530 miles off the coast of Chile, are one of the most mysterious and unknown places in the Eastern Pacific. San Ambrosio (uninhabited) and San Félix (with only a small garrison of the Chilean Navy) have never been filmed underwater, and there is very little scientific information about the underwater world of these islands. The Pristine Seas project has identified the area surrounding the Desventuradas Islands as one of a handful of potentially pristine environments left in South America. In February-March 2013, National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Enric Sala will lead an expedition to these remote islands in collaboration with partner Oceana Chile, to explore, survey and film this unknown world, from the surface to thousands of meters below.
Enric Sala: We will explore the Desventuradas underwater using state-of-the-art technology: close-circuit rebreathers that recycle the oxygen and allow us to dive without making bubbles, drop-cams to film the deep sea thousands of meters deep, and the DeepSee submarine, with an acrylic sphere that allows 360-degree vision to 400 meters depth. It’s going to be pure exploration and, we hope, discovery.
Follow the expedition on: newswatch.nationalgeographic.com