Marine Institute

National Geographic Channel Premiere ‘Alien Deep – It’s Alive’ at ESOF

July 12, 2012

  

Pictured L to R: National Geographic Television series producer of 'Alien Deep', Mr Gary Johnstone; Marine Institute CEO, Dr Peter Heffernan; Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney TD and Dr Andy Wheeler, University College Cork.

ALIEN DEEP, the brand new National Geographic Channel series had its world premiere in Ireland today (Thursday, 12th July 2012) at the Euroscience Open Forum  (ESOF) 2012. The IT’S ALIVE episode of this five-part series was screened ahead of its global broadcast premiere this autumn, to delegates attending the biennial event in Dublin.  

ALIEN DEEP features Dr. Robert Ballard, the famed National Geographic explorer who discovered the wreck of the Titanic at its final resting place. The series takes viewers into an underwater world 3000m deep along the mid-Atlantic ridge, north of the Azores, where no man has gone before.  The Moytirra vent field, named after a mythological Irish battlefield (meaning plain of pillars) reveals gigantic rock formations, 10m + lava vents, and unusual species that call the ocean-bottom home.  

“The Euroscience Open Forum is a wonderful opportunity to premiere this episode of Alien Deep,” said Terry Garcia, Executive Vice President, Mission Programs at the National Geographic Society.  “Working with organisations such as the Marine Institute, we will continue to inspire people to care about the planet, including our oceans.”  

The Smoking Vents discovered in the mid Atlantic Ridge using the national Remotely Operated Vehicle Holland 1 and the RV Celtic Explorer featured in the National Geographic Premiere “Alien Deep - Its Alive” at ESOF 2012.

Working with some of the world's most talented scientists from Ireland and the UK, the National Geographic team and scientists led by Dr. Andy Wheeler, University College Cork, together with the National University of Ireland (NUI) Galway, Geological Survey of Ireland and University of Southampton and National Oceanography Centre in the UK pushed the threshold of exploration to its limit bringing back images of objects and life forms from places that other scientists long ago deemed impossible.   

The discovery and footage of the first deep-sea vent field was captured by the (remotely operated vehicle) ROV Holland 1 which was deployed from the Marine Institute’s Research Vessel, Celtic Explorer, in which the discovery of a field of hydrothermal vents was filmed last August.  “Only a few countries have the capacity to launch such a challenging expedition, and it is therefore a great testament to the work of Ireland and the UK’s scientists who have both the technology and the expertise to do ground breaking deep-ocean exploration,” said Dr. Peter Heffernan, CEO of the Marine Institute.  

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