When you own your own submarine, every week can be Shark Week. OceanGate, the submarining company that is planning on taking tourists to the Titanic, is about to help guests get up close and personal with sharks on an adventure to the briny deep.
OceanGate Expeditions is teaming up with the Bahamas-based marine research group Cape Eleuthera Institute on a deep-sea survey of the Exuma Sound looking for sharks, other sharks, and more sharks. OceanGate is providing the submarine—its presumably shark-proof submersible Cyclops 1—and the crew, while the Cape Eleuthera Institute will bring the experts, ideally ones able to rank the sharks on a scale of “aww cute!” to “we’re gonna need a bigger boat.“
The expeditions will kick off in October 2017, with multiple weeks of diving each season over a year, hoping to provide new details on deep-sea sharks and other creatures that lurk beneath the waters off the Great Bahama Bank continental shelf. While living every week like it’s Shark Week sounds fun, the trip isn’t just for tourists to fluff up their Instagram accounts. It will serve a legitimate scientific purpose. “Having OceanGate’s manned submersible at our facility for a whole year will allow us to explore the depths of the Bahamas and collect information about deep sea organisms that are still very much a mystery, as well as observe better known creatures like sharks that are more often studied in the shallows,” said Dr. Andrew Gill, Director of the Cape Eleuthera Institute, in a press release.
If you sign up for the adventure, you won’t be merely a tourist, but will be required to help in the survey, keeping your eyes peeled for sharks of every make and model, and not flinching when you run into critters like this guy. Paying guests will also help photograph the inhabitants watery world, and learn what it takes to manage sub-communications and subsea navigation. This is no internship, though. Instead, people who sign up for the survey will have to fork over at least $15,000 to help underwrite a three-day mission, or $10,000 to help subsidize a one-day mission (get more information here). By contrast, tickets to watch Mandy Moore withstand a shark attack in 47 Meters Down run about $12, and checking Jaws out of the library is free.