In June 2018, the Oceana Europe organisation sent its Ranger ship on a month-long mission in the Tyrrhenian Sea to the Aeolian Islands, a group of eight volcanic islands north of Sicily, in Italy, which are also a Unesco World Heritage Site.

The objective of the mission was to explore the deep sea around the islands, which has been largely overlooked and hosts a variety of marine species still unknown. And the mostly Spanish crew of the Ranger succeeded in their mission, documenting the existence of “lush coral forests around the underwater volcanoes and species never before seen in the region” at a depth of more than 1000 metres.

Oceana Europe’s findings will be used to put in place a natural marine reserve around the islands to preserve their eco-system, but in the meantime, you can take a look at the stunning pictures the crew took.

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People watch the the traditional regatta for the opening of the 2019 Venice Carnival on February 17, 2019 in Venice, Italy. The theme for the 2019 edition of Venice Carnival is 'Blame the Moon!' and will run from the 16th of February to 5th of March 2019  (Photo by Matteo Chinellato/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
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