We've only explored about 5 percent of the ocean, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Indeed, we know so little about the ocean that there's a common joke that we know more about the moon and Mars than we do about this vast stretch of water here on Earth.
NOAA is slowly working change that with the Okeanos Explorer, the only federally funded vessel dedicated exclusive to learning more about the ocean. Recently, the Okeanos has been conducting operations in a region of the Gulf of Mexico. Much of that exploring if conducted by a remote-operated vehicle, like the one that took the video above.
In it, scientists were surprised to discover a dense forest of bamboo coral 7,545 feet (2,300 meters) beneath the surface near the west coast of Florida. This was the first time such a large collection of coral had been discovered in this region and at this depth.
The coral is growing along a ridge crest, lined up in such a way that allows them to take advantage of the nutrients swept through by the currents. This, along with other factors like the ridge's overall geology and food availability, have contributed to the coral's ability to thrive — and provide us with another surprising find as we chip away at the mystery of Earth’s oceans.