A large sperm whale passes by the ROV. Photo: Ocean Exploration Trust

A large sperm whale passes by the ROV. Photo: Ocean Exploration Trust

At 598 meters feet below the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Louisiana, the remotely-operated vehicle (ROV) Hercules has encountered a magnificent sperm whale. The whale circled Hercules several times and gave cameras the chance to capture some incredible footage of this beautiful creature.

The spectacular encounter was captured during a mission with Nautilus Live, where viewers can explore the ocean along with researchers live, with Dr. Robert Ballard and the Corps of Exploration. Needless to say, encounters between sperm whales and ROV’s are very rare.

The exploration Vessel (E/V) Nautilus is a 64-meter research vessel currently based in BodrumTurkey. It is operated by the Ocean Exploration Trust under the direction of Dr. Robert Ballard, the man who is known for finding the wreck of the Titanic and the German military ship Bismarck.

Nautilus is equipped with the remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) HerculesArgusDiana, and Echo, which are owned and operated by the Institute for Exploration. It has a high-bandwidth satellite system on board to facilitate remote science and education via the Inner Space Center (ISC) at the University of Rhode Island’s Graduate School of Oceanography, which shares a live feed from the ROVs with Exploration Command Consoles located around the world.

For more alerts on when the Nautilus is diving and more of their amazing discoveries, follow them on Facebook and on Twitter.