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About FathomVerse

FathomVerse is a cozy, immersive game where you’ll encounter real scientific images collected by robots and researchers around the world. Look closely, you may be the first to discover the ocean animals you find.


Frequently Asked Questions

What is FathomVerse?

FathomVerse is a free mobile game available on the App Store and Google Play. The game offers an interactive community science experience where players can engage with real ocean images collected by researchers and robots from around the world. By playing the game, players improve the AI that is being used to discover ocean life.

Why are ocean researchers making a game?

FathomVerse aims to increase our capacity to measure and monitor marine life in a changing ocean. 

Scientists estimate that  30-60% of life in the ocean is still unknown to science. Filling that knowledge gap is vital if we want to understand how all ocean ecosystems are being impacted by climate change. With advances in imaging and AI technology, we can capture images of the ocean and quickly analyze them. However, AI needs people to continuously train and verify the models, and that's where FathomVerse comes in. Every action taken by FathomVerse players in the game helps to improve and train machine learning models, massively increasing our annotation efforts. 

By tapping into our collective curiosity, FathomVerse seeks to transform ocean exploration by engaging a community of passionate ocean enthusiasts to work alongside researchers.

Where do the images in FathomVerse come from?

The images you see in FathomVerse are real photos collected by ocean researchers. Scientists, coastal communities, government agencies, and enthusiasts all over the world are deploying all kinds of imaging systems to monitor and explore the depths of the ocean. Every dive in FathomVerse is filled with imagery that researchers have shared with us. 

To set up a dive, first, we add images that have been verified by experts. These are known as labeled images. Then we add images that have not been seen or verified yet. These are known as unlabeled images. 

With a mix of labeled and unlabeled images, FathomVerse creates different combinations for each dive that you play based on your progress and the missions you select. 

Who is making FathomVerse? 

FathomVerse is a collaborative, multi-institutional project led by Ocean Vision AI and MBARI Principal Engineer Kakani Katija. To develop FathomVerse, Katija and MBARI software engineers collaborated with game design experts &ranj Serious Games—a Netherlands-based game development studio focused on positive behavioral change through play—and Internet of Elephants—a nature tech enterprise based in Kenya focused on rekindling relationships between people and wildlife. Funding for FathomVerse came from the National Science Foundation’s Convergence Accelerator, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, and the Schmidt Marine Technology Partners, a program of the Schmidt Family Foundation.

See acknowledgements for a full list of contributors.

screengrabs of FathomVerse game on a mobile phone.
Jellies mission briefing
FathomVerse pulse minigame. Avatar floating along a current and revealing images.
Anemone labeling interaction.



We’d like to thank the following individuals and organizations for their contributions to FathomVerse


Monterey Bay Aquarium

CVision AI

&ranj Serious Games

Internet of Elephants

Barderry Applied Research LLC

Dingo Sky LLC


National Science Foundation

David and Lucile Packard Foundation

Schmidt Marine Technology Partners, a program of the Schmidt Family Foundation


Animal icons: Kurtis Wothe and other Phylopic contributors

Animated logos: Kurtis Wothe

Audio channels: Hydrophone - John Ryan, MBARI, Ocean Soundscape Team; Deep Sea Aquarium - Monterey Bay Aquarium, Into the Deep / En lo Profundo Exhibit

Award images and video clips: MBARI’s Video Lab

Labeled data: FathomNet contributors

Mission briefing images: MBARI’s Video Lab

Unlabeled data: NOAA-OER, Schmidt Ocean Institute, MBARI


Beta testers: Alex Magaña, Alexander Graber, Allen Cheng, Belinda Zhao, Caitlyn Left, Caroline Edmonds, Christina Des Rochers, Christopher Nolan, Dane Whicker, Davina Gifford, Dennis Lieu, Eric Albert, Gail Siu Lee, Georgia Watson, Gisselle Farfán-Magaña, Golnoush Pak, Heather Scott, Jack Dalton, Josiah Terpstra, Katherine Farfán-Magaña, Kelsey Archer Barnhill, Laura Anderson, Leander Weihs, Lydia Rysavy, Madi Baird, Megan Barry, Micaela Johnson, Pat Lee, Riley Choi, Sean W. Brown, Tennyson Filcek, Vikram Mohanty, Zuriel Silva


We are grateful for the contributions provided by the Science, Engineering, and Operations groups that work in partnership at various institutions for generating the imagery shown in FathomVerse. 


FathomVerse is a contribution of MBARI’s Bioinspiration Lab and the Ocean Vision AI program. 

*Lauren Sumner-Rooney, Guillaume Dera, Felix Vaux, Kanchi Nanjo, Christoph Schomburg, Mario Quevedo, Levi Simons, T Michael Keesey, Nathan Hermann, Steven Haddock, JR Winnikoff, Becky Barnes, Prespa Research Group, AH Baldwin, Ferran Sayol, Séverine Martini, Ludwik Gasiorowski

Monterey Bay Aquarium logo
CVisionAI Logo
&ranj logo
Internet of Elephants logo
NSF's Convergence Accelerator Logo
Schmidt Marine Technology Partners logo
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