The deep seas are earth’s final frontier—according to UNESCO, only 5% of the planet’s oceans have been explored. The dark marine abyss is almost completely unknown, especially in Antarctica’s Southern Ocean. That’s why Chimu Adventures are so excited to be working with ocean exploration and conservation non-profit Kolossal to launch the world’s first scientific expedition to look for the colossal squid, Mesonychoteuthis hamiltoni.
Departing Nov 30th, the Ocean Endeavour’s Complete Antarctica 14-day charter, with special guest Adam Spencer, will be extra special for passengers as it’s the pilot voyage for Kolossal’s three-year search for the colossal squid.
“At Chimu Adventures, we are so excited to be a part of this uncharted project”, says Chad Carey, Chimu’s Managing Director. “It will launch on our Antarctica expedition cruise, specially chartered by Chimu, with Australian mathematician and media personality Adam Spencer, so we’re thrilled that this trip will have such a strong element of citizen science for our travellers. On all our trips, wildlife is an integral part of the experience so the opportunity to learn more about creatures of the deep adds such a unique element to the journey. After visiting Antarctica, we find our guests become ambassadors and advocates for the planet so we’re thrilled to educate them about the elusive colossal squid”.
Using innovative deep sea technology, Kolossal will deploy the cameras into the deep Antarctic waters throughout the 2022/2023 season and beyond, with the aim to locate and film a colossal squid by 2025—the 100-year anniversary of the colossal squid’s first discovery in 1925, found inside the stomach of a sperm whale.
The colossal squid, not to be confused with the giant squid, has only been witnessed in nets or photographed on the surface after death.
Thanks to media attention through documentaries like My Octopus Teacher and internet celebrities like Paul, a famous octopus who was known for his winning 2010 World Cup predictions, cephalopods like octopus, squid, and cuttlefish are becoming better understood, but the colossal squid is still very unknown. Scientists don’t know how common it is, nor if, indeed, it is endangered. That’s why this unique and innovative project will not only increase researchers’ knowledge of the colossal squid, but has broader impacts for the marine environment.
“The colossal squid is an oversized poster species for how little we know about the ocean”, said Matt Mulrennan, Marine Scientist, Founder/CEO of Kolossal, “It’s the largest invertebrate on our planet, with the world’s biggest eye, hooked tentacles, and likely glows in the dark, does it get any cooler than that? Studying this species in this remote region is a truly challenging adventure. So let’s ‘get kraken’ on this exciting scientific expedition!”
By better understanding the habitat, population numbers, and behaviours of the colossal squid, Kolossal and marine advocates hope to increase restrictions on commercial fishing in Antarctica’s marine reserves, particularly for Patagonian and Antarctic toothfish and mackerel icefish and also increase support for the High Seas Treaty Dialogues, which aims to improve conservation and marine protections in international waters, currently unregulated.
Mulrennan will join Chimu on the Complete Antarctica voyage and will provide an exclusive information session for guests about the colossal squid, with recaps of the day’s findings. Guests will also be able to view the footage and images of the fascinating and unusual deep sea Antarctic creatures that have been filmed on their voyage.
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Founded in 2004, Chimu Adventures are The Latin America and Polar Travel Specialists. Australian owned, we are the go-to for all Latin America, Antarctica and Arctic travel requirements, from small ship expedition cruises to tailor-made itineraries and small group tours, plus all international and domestic flight and transfer arrangements. Our specialist knowledge means we can offer the best options for everything. We use our own operations on the ground to access to an immense range of accommodation and activities and work personally with our traveller’s style and budget, tailoring to their individual needs.
Our team is committed to the destinations which we operate in and are proud members of the International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators (IAATO), the Council of Australian Tour Operators (CATO) International Galapagos Tour Operators Association (IGTOA) Adventure Travel Trade Association and Latin America Travel Association.