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Blog Tags: Bob Ballard

Bob Ballard, the Great Explorer

bob ballard

 Image via wikimedia commons.

If you tuned into "60 Minutes" this past Sunday, you had the pleasure of watching a two-part report on Dr. Robert Ballard and his lifetime of undersea exploration. What is Bob Ballard's story, you ask?

Underwater adventure? Check. Mysterious shipwrecks? Check. Secret missions for the U.S. Navy? Check. Unknown creatures from the deep? Check. What doesn’t this story have!?

Ballard discovered the wrecks of the Bismarck and Titanic as well as a species of tube worm surviving at the bottom of the ocean, living off the energy provided by thermal vents.

I first heard of Ballard when I was in middle school and I was enamored with the television series SeaQuest. He was their technical advisor and was behind much of the science in the show (I am pretty sure I just outed myself as a giant nerd).

Ballard has dedicated his entire life to finding out what is beneath the surface of the ocean. He has discovered hundreds of shipwrecks, but he is most proud of his tube worm discovery. This find, off the coast of the Galapagos Islands, rocked the science world. It made scientists reevaluate how life can form. These organisms evolved without the benefit of sunlight. They evolved in the dark on the ocean floor. It was kind of a sucker punch to photosynthesis.


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