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wall of ceramic spheres

Floating on shells

It took a village of engineers to build the new hybrid deep-sea vehicle Nereus, which dove to 10,902 meters (6.8 miles) in the western Pacific Ocean’s Mariana Trench on May 31, 2009. To keep the vehicle upright and floating, the team used about 1,500 hollow, ceramic spheres in Nereus' two hulls. The thin ceramic shells of the buoyancy balls may look delicate, but they are capable of withstanding the crushing pressures of ocean depths.
(Photo by Tom Kleindinst, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)


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