Alvin Turns 50

Alvin Turns 50

Coming from Woods Hole, it’s easy to take the cool deep-ocean research taking place in our backyards for granted. Oh yeah, James Cameron regularly consults with local engineers on the vehicle that took him to the Mariana Trench. Ground-breaking, ocean-moving papers are published out of here nearly every week. We’re home to the U.S. government’s only human-occupied submersible, Alvin. So what?

It takes a milestone to step back from what you take for granted, and truly celebrate it. So when the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution approached us with an idea of a video commemorating Alvin’s 50 years (officially on June 5th), we were honored. Not only was it fun to do (how often do you get to use Neil Young in a science video?), we learned a whole lot about Alvin’s ocean-going legacy.

From the successful recovery of a hydrogen bomb, the discovery of hydrothermal vents and the wreckage of the Titanic, and ongoing research on the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, Alvin is an essential asset in our understanding of the ocean.

Check out WHOI’s Alvin 50th page, where you can watch the video, upload your own happy birthday message, and find lots of cool resources about our iconic deep-diving neighbor, Alvin.