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Thread: Underwater Roombas are sucking up decades of human waste in the Pacific...

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    Post Underwater Roombas are sucking up decades of human waste in the Pacific...

    Underwater Roombas are sucking up decades of human waste in the Pacific...

    Beneath Santa Catalina Island, a resort town 22 miles off the coast of Southern California, sit thousands of barrels filled with a toxic substance known as DDT. The barrels have been chillin on the ocean floor for decades, slowly leaking the waste into the water. Now scientists are trying to clean up the mess and they've recruited robots to do the dirty work. The machines, which researchers described to the Los Angeles Times as "underwater Roombas," will spend between 12 and 16 hours per day scanning the area, using sonar to comb the floor and send back high-resolution data that will be used get a better idea of the situation 3,000 feet under the sea. Eventually, the bots will be sent back down to take detailed photos of areas where pollution concentration seems to be the highest so scientists can get a better idea of how they will have to tackle the clean up process.

    When Californians learned in October that the waters off Santa Catalina Island once served as a dumping ground for thousands of barrels of DDT waste, the ocean science community jumped into action. A crew was swiftly assembled, shipping lanes cleared, the gears set in motion for a deep-sea expedition aboard the Sally Ride, one of the most technologically advanced research vessels in the country. By Wednesday, the ship was ready to leave San Diego and head for the San Pedro Basin, where 31 scientists and crew members will spend the next two weeks surveying almost 50,000 acres of the seafloor a much-needed first step in solving this toxic mystery that the ocean had buried for decades.





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