Coming up next on Jonathan Bird’s Blue World,
Jonathan explores a thousand feet down in a submarine! Hi, I’m Jonathan Bird and welcome to my world! Scuba diving is more than just an exciting
sport. It’s also a very effective way to explore the underwater portions of our planet, and
even conduct scientific research. But it has one limitation—depth. Traditional scuba gear has a practical depth
limit of about 200 feet. As a result, we know very little about life beyond this limit because
exploration in deeper water is so much more difficult. But you know me…I always have a plan. And
today I’m going to explore the deep waters around Cocos Island…in a submarine. This isn’t just any submarine. This is the
Deep See, operated by the Undersea Hunter group off the support ship Argo. It can dive
to over 1,000 feet! Our team is 300 miles off the coast of Costa
Rica at Cocos Island. It takes 30 hours just to get here. This uninhabited speck of paradise in the
Pacific Ocean is filled with waterfalls and lush rainforest. Anchored in the calm lee of the island, the
Argo is my home away from home for a week. The waters around Cocos feature steep drop-offs,
filled with fish. And sharks. Hammerheads come here to be cleaned of parasites
and dead skin by legions of hard-working butterflyfish. Sometimes, the water above is filled with
shivers of hammerheads! Occasionally, the world’s largest fish makes
an appearance. I get lucky when a whale shark passes by! But I want to see what’s way down
deep, and to do that, I’ll need that submarine. My adventure begins with a safety briefing.
Samuel Blum, known to his friends as “Shmulik” gives me an introduction to the emergency
features of the submersible. Shmulik is the manager of the sub operation and the chief
pilot. Next I weigh in. In order to load the correct
amount of ballast in the sub, they need to know the total weight of everything in it,
including the passengers. It’s a little tricky to get an accurate reading on a rocking boat! Next it’s time to change into my blue submarine
jumpsuit. Everybody in the sub wears a blue jumpsuit
to minimize reflections in the dome, because the water outside is blue too. While I’m getting my briefing, the sub is
being launched. They keep it out of the water for safety until just before it’s time to
depart on a mission. That big sphere on the front is where the
people go, and it affords a wide view of the underwater world! Okay, red handle, I see that… Now it’s the moment of truth—time for me
to climb into the sub. It has started to rain, so the crew has placed
a rain cover over the sub to keep water out of the cockpit. Once I finagle my way into the cramped cockpit,
the crew closes the dome and latches it down, sealing it shut. Inside, Avi, the pilot for today’s mission
and Shmulik work through their pre-dive checklist. And outside, the crew prepares the sub for
departure. First, we pull away from the Argo. Next, we are connected to a surface tender
for a tow out to the dive site. This saves the batteries on the sub for the actual dive,
and also makes getting to the site faster. Shmulik is on the radio with the tender, coordinating
the mission. OK, so we are going with the current right
now, correct? The first time you guys drove this thing,
did it completely freak you out that there is water at the bottom? It’s actually…we start to freak out when
the water gets to our feet. It’s a very strange feeling to be sitting
inside what is essentially a half-submerged fish bowl in the ocean! And the conditions today are not particularly
calm. It’s a rough ride to the dive site. Soon Jose the diver comes over to disengage
our tow rope so we can submerge. Avi releases air from the ballast tanks and
we start to sink. Soon, we slip beneath the waves. Shmulik waves goodbye to Jose as we sink away
from the rough water at the surface. I can’t believe the amazing view out of the
top of this submarine. I can see 360 degrees in all directions! It’s incredible! As we sink into the first 100 feet of water,
the light coming into the cockpit gets really blue like the ocean, but there isn’t much
sensation of depth because there is nothing to see outside and there is no change in pressure
inside. A school of hammerheads passes over, not concerned
about the sub. Soon we reach the top of a seamount that the
crew refers to as Mount Everest. It’s one of their favorite dive sites. We’re at the top of Mount Everest, which is
actually a huge rock. The bottom is 300 feet deep, and the top is 150 feet deep. The currents,
the deep water currents, come along and they hit this rock, and they go up the side. They
bring upwelling and nutrients with them and it’s a great place for the fish, they love
to hang out here. And we’re just hiding behind the rock, checking out the fish. As we reach 67 meters, a little more than
200 feet deep, the rock outside is covered in a beautiful octocoral that only grows in
the cooler water down here. We film it with the sub’s built in camera system. I look up, and passing over the summit of
Mount Everest is a whale shark! The shark turns and makes another pass by
the sub, so Avi drives the sub right alongside the shark for a close up view! Many times in my life I have exhausted myself
trying to keep up with a whale shark. Doing it in a submarine is almost too easy! But
if we spook the shark, there is no question it can get away from the sub. This sub is
nowhere near as fast as a whale shark! Avi does a beautiful job of following along behind
the shark while Shmulik films. Impressed by Avi’s abilities driving the sub,
I had to learn how it’s done. Explain these controls to me here. There’s a joystick here, which controls all
the maneuvers of the sub. This is forward, backwards, side, and up, and down, and then
we can crab sideways with this, and then we can decide how much power we want to give
to the thrusters. And everything here has to do with the lights, the motors, and the
vital systems of the sub, like the communications, and the scrubber. Over here are all the main
breaker switches of the submarine, which control all the power systems, the electronics, and
there are some safety switches here while these rockers control the pan and tilt, which
is the lights. We can turn them around to see. Heading back to Mount Everest, we encounter
a Galapagos shark passing by the sub at a depth of about 200 feet. Even though we are
now well beyond the limits of sport scuba diving, all the fish still look like the fish
I’m used to seeing on my dives. When we reach the bottom of Mount Everest,
we have arrived on a shelf at a depth of 300 feet. Avi and Shmulik are navigating using
SONAR, which shows the shelf, the seamount, and the drop-off, where we’re heading! Well…I’m at 300 feet, officially the deepest
I’ve ever been, but what’s really amazing is, there’s still light! It’s dark, but it’s
not completely dark, and look at how much marine life there is at 300 feet! Even at 300 feet, we still see schools of
hammerheads above in the blue. As we sink past 400 feet, we come across a
group of Jellynose fish aggregating in the wall. Jellynose fish are only found in deep
water, and very little is known about them. I’ve certainly never seen one before! They get the name “Jellynose” because they
have a cartilaginous skeleton like sharks, but they are not closely related to sharks.
Virtually everything about these fish, including the purpose of this gathering, is a complete
mystery. Nearby, a Goosefish. Although there are species
of Goosefish that live in shallow water, this one is only seen down deep. It lies on the bottom—camouflaged–its huge
mouth waiting for prey! Nearby, a colony of tunicates, in the shape
of a tube like a sponge. Crabs seem to be picking it over for food, but who knows what’s
going on? The deep sea provides more questions than answers. In the dim light, a Mobula ray glides by the
sub. The Mobula is basically a small manta, and this species is frequently seen in shallow
water. What it’s doing down here, 500 feet below the surface is anyone’s guess. I’m now at 218 meters, about 700 feet! From
a distance, the bottom looks lifeless. Closer inspection however, reveals tiny white
cup corals. Who could imagine? Corals at 700 feet! But then, while concentrating on tiny little
corals, something swims into our lights! A Ragged Tooth Shark! The Ragged Tooth shark, also known as the
Smalltooth Sand Tiger, is only occasionally found in shallow water, but much more commonly
associated with depths over 500 feet. Here at almost a thousand feet, this shark
is in its element! Down here, the light is almost gone, but a
pale blue glow comes from above. And then, just as we pass 1000 feet, the deepest
shark I’ve ever seen! A Prickly shark swims towards the lights on the sub. Prickly sharks like cold water, so they usually
hang out down deep, but they have been seen in shallow cold water in some places. I’ve
certainly never seen one before. The shark is intrigued by the lights on the
sub and comes towards us. All sharks have sandpapery skin due to their
dermal denticals, but the ones on the Prickly shark are particularly thorn-like, which is
where this shark gets its name. The shark circles the sub several times before
vanishing into the darkness. Soon it’s time to head back to the surface,
but along the way we stop again at Mount Everest for one task to be done before we leave. Shmulik has to use the mechanical arm on the
sub to retrieve a remote temperature sensor. Inside the sub, he manipulates the arm with
a remote control. The temperature sensor has been down here
for 6 months recording water temperature data for scientific research. Shmulik will use
the arm to grab the sensor and bring it to the surface to download the information it
has recorded. He lines up the jaws of the arm…and he has
it! Ooh, nice work! Avi drives the sub back to the Argo underwater,
we won’t to be towed home. Besides, the water at the surface is rough and it’s nice and
calm down here! We slowly ascend right near the stern of the
Argo. Well, I made it back from the depths of the
ocean! And I never even got wet! And we can see that it has started to rain
again, with raindrops appearing on the water above. With perfect accuracy, Avi has brought us
right to the back of the ship. We bob around a little while Avi gets the
sub aligned with the sub bay in the Argo. He will drive it right in, like putting a
car in a garage. Jose jumps aboard and helps guide the sub
the last few feet. And then we’re back. The crew covers the dome to keep rain out
when they open up the cockpit. And then…I climb out. Woo hoo! Yea! I’m back! My experience in the submersible certainly
ranked up there as one of the most fascinating things I have ever done. And getting to see
marine life far deeper than I can ever scuba dive was a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
I can say for sure that while this might have been my first trip in a submarine, I hope
it’s not my last, because I really want to do this again someday. Who knows what we’ll
discover next time?

100 thoughts on “Deep Cocos Island | JONATHAN BIRD’S BLUE WORLD

  1. COOL! i went down to the bottom of the ocean using my PC…….thank you JONATHAN for this amazing showcase of life @ 700M DEEP..i want to see more of your future videos…

  2. This is my most favorite video on YouTube. Because I love submarines! I’m being a deep sea marine biologist when I grow up. My goal is to discover a new species below the waves. I want to be in one of those submarines. Like you.


  4. Really best job.. i like this show after this show , my dream to travel worls inside the water cn u help me for that plz txt me ur gmail .. i m waiting

  5. The fascination in your voice attracts the viewer's attention way better. At first I was like "It's a moving shark, whatever" and then you were like…."IT'S A WHALE SHARK!!!" and I was like…."Woah! It must be interesting!"

  6. Great video as always. Have you ever thought about diving into The Mariana Trench? I'm sure it'll be a one of a kind experience.

  7. Next time Sharky & I want to see you going even deeper. Seatigies can make it to 900 metres down. Would be interesting to see that depth (roughly 3000 feet).n I do know the deeper you go, the more water is above you & the more it presses down on you, so maybe a stronger sub will be needed???

  8. mr. bird ? Is it true that there are huge squids in the ocean…and if there is… How deep are they located??

  9. My dream was always to become a diver! I tested myself and I can hold myself underwater for 2 minutes. Now all I need is money

  10. Why do you wear a double hose rig? A nostalgia/antique thing? Fabulous video by the way, a unique view of Cocos.

  11. I love this video. This and the video from the series Descending got me to go submarine diving in Roatan. It was a dream come true. Thanks for showing me the dream.

  12. Here’s a Dad Joke for ya:
    How deep can a shark get?
    “I don’t know”
    Me neither! I never took them for the philosopher types!

  13. Shark looks at sub: hmmm can I eat that? lets circle around and find out.. hmm on second thought I dont think I can eat it. Goodbye,

  14. Forget colones on mars or the moon lets make colones on the sea floor, we will learn a lot and i see mining oppatureads.

    Why batteys, gas or diesil migh give yall longer run time, its far more erginge dench.

  15. One of my most favorite videos you've ever filmed. Damn! That was Awesomee!!!! Really cool.

    Beyond 200FT deep is insane ??

  16. WE ARE IN A FLOATING DOME THRU WATER NOT A SPINNING BALL Water above Water below See the hennessee commercial

  17. I have just been binge watching your videos lately from all different times.. and they are all just so incredible. You are so informative, and make it so easy to stay interested throughout the entire video.

  18. Please help Kenyans in retrieving the bodies that sank 2 weeks ago from a car that plunged into the Indian Ocean from a ferry. And God will bless you…please???

  19. GREAT VIDEO!! My grandfather, Ted Nixon, designed the red and white Diver Down flag in 1957, please visit, like and share a page I created in his honor…

  20. Johnathan bird , I am so excited that I found you I can see so much of my dreams come true thru you it is too bad that I could not travel with you to your adventures

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