National Geographic emerging explorer Jessica Cramp doesn’t bat an eye at diving with sharks. But today, the Galapagos are testing her limits. JESSICA CRAMP: I’m a bit of a claustrophobe. When Alan Friedlander came down and knocked on my door and said, hey Jess, you’re going in the sub, I just kind of froze, deer in the headlights, like, do I have to? And I realized that if I didn’t go, I would have regretted it forever. We’re about to explore a very steep shelf. And you hopefully find some new critters and describe new species for science. It’s a good job. These deep sea ecosystems are like missing pieces of the puzzle that is the Galapagos. This is pure exploration. JESSICA CRAMP: Yeah. – Oh my gosh. – Silky. Silky. Silky. JESSICA CRAMP: Oh fantastic. They’re very curious around here.We just had a silky shark buzz the sub at just 12 meters. So I can’t wait to get down to 300 and see what we find. They’re almost 600 feet below the surface. Here, on the edges of the ocean’s twilight zone, light starts to rapidly decrease. JESSICA CRAMP: Our death is 183 meters and descending. Oh my gosh, swordfish. Holy cow. Beautiful. Stand by . Oh my gosh. Don’t stab us. Whoa! JESSICA CRAMP: He’s big. Beautiful swordfish. Amazing. The lights from the sub offer the only illumination some of these animals have ever seen. The pelagic sea cucumber. That is a crazy creature. Like– JESSICA CRAMP: It’s incredible. It’s incredible, yeah. JESSICA CRAMP: Gosh, it’s beautiful. It almost looks like a lily. It’s truly mesmerizing. Motions are very fluid. The sea floor is covered with life. Right now, we are 255 meters deep. We are encountering the seabed. It’s mostly sans, but we have the boulders. In the boulders, we have more fishes and animals around. They come across a species that was described only 10 years earlier.Hydrolagus mccoskeri, a ghost shark, endemic here. It’s part of the family Chimaeridae, fish that have been around since before the time of dinosaurs. Their eyes have apparently evolved to let in as much light as possible, allowing them to see in almost total darkness. JESSICA CRAMP: It was one of the most unique experiences for me, and made me feel like a real explorer. Because our eyes and our lights were setting sights on some rock faces and some creatures that had never, never been seen by humans before.The data will take time to sort through. But there’s no doubt the deep sea is teeming with life. .