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Madonna dello Ionio

This image of the seabed south of Calabria shows features that resemble a reclining woman. The Madonna is one of a number of mud volcanic features discovered on the Calabrian Arc in summer 2005 by the r/v OGS Explora, during a cruise undertaken as part of HERMES and HYDRAMED, two EC-funded projects at the OGS.

The image won first prize in the Technical Underwater Images (>200 m) category of the 2006 BP-Kongsberg Underwater Images Competition, which was held as part of the 11th International Deep Sea Biology Symposium (9-14 July 2006) at the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton.