In 1872 the HMS Challenger left Portsmouth in the UK on a four-year circumnavigation of the globe to explore the deepsea.
It was a scientific voyage of discovery that has since been recognised as the origin of deepsea science and modern oceanography. Such was its significance that scientists still examine specimens gathered on that trip, write papers referencing Challenger findings, and use sampling equipment that would not have been unfamiliar to their 19th Century counterparts.
The Challenger spent several weeks in New Zealand in 1874 – the crew and scientists unimpressed by the wintry weather, particularly around Wellington, but able to collect a large amount of scientific information and undertake a variety of measurements in our waters.
Almost 150 years later scientists, says NIWA’s Dr Malcolm Clark, are still exploring.
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