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Armchair diver: Explore shipwrecks without leaving the house

How would you like to explore shipwrecks and all the deep blue sea has to offer without ever leaving the comfort of your home or even your desk? Well, thanks to the Nautilus Project, now you can.

It is harder to get to the deepest parts of our seas than it is to travel into space, and it has long been acknowledged that deep sea exploration is one of the most dangerous jobs on the market. As a result the sea-beds are cluttered with much that we cannot reach, or even see. A host of shipwrecks can be counted amongst all that can no longer be seen or reached, or even found, in a surprisingly large number of cases. All we know of these vessels is what we see when they are brought back up to the surface, usually at great expense, meaning this happens only rarely.

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The Nautilus Project aims to change all that. With a broad stated aim of documenting “the myriad natural and cultural resources that lie in US waters”, the team of explorers are also including shipwrecks into their remit. As they work, there is a live stream of video along with a running commentary from the explorers as they go along.

Some of the vessels that are being brought to light, so to speak, are historically significant and range from a paddle steamer, the Robert E Lee, to a German U-boat, U-166, which actually sank the Robert E Lee. At present, the team are exploring a more recent wreck, that of US military vessel.

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Watching the mysteries of the deep unfold from your desk may demystify the whole process, but one thing is for certain: Seeing the innermost secrets of the ocean is much safer from the comfort of your home and will allow more people to develop a greater understanding of what might be the real final frontier of exploration.