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The Hellenic Center for Marine Research (HCMR) manned bathyscaphe…

The Hellenic Center for Marine Research (HCMR) manned bathyscaphe Thetis plumbs the depths of the Aegean during a mission launched late last month. Mission chief Vangelis Papathanassiou told Kathimerini yesterday that the first-ever exploratory dive of its sort included a 504-meter descent into the undersea Columbo volcanic crater off Santorini – which appears to be active – and investigations northwest of Crete. The latter dives revealed a large patch of seabed covered in rare coral formations, as well as two intact, deeply submerged beaches – at depths of 135 and 85 meters – dating back to times when the sea level was dozens of meters lower.