Technology

Let Us Know if You Spot any Aliens Down There...

Science Not FictionBy Stephen CassMay 22, 2008 5:03 PM

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In the alien first-encounter movie The Abyss, most of the action takes places on a semi-mobile drilling platform called The Benthic Explorer, located many fathoms beneath the sea's surface. Now mining the ocean floor is closer to reality , thanks to the efforts of Nautilus Minerals (alas, still no word on any aquatic alien colonies). Nautilus plans to mine copper, zinc, gold and silver deposits off the coast of Papua New Guinea. The deposits have to be brought up from a sea floor that is under a mile of water. Sadly, the company has no plans to employ a gruff-yet-photogenic crew of oddballs to work down below—the company plans to use a remotely operated robot to do the heavy lifting.

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