The FLIP belongs to the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. It’s a 300-foot ocean-going research vessel. And it was built to sink. FLIP stands for Floating Instrument Platform. From the air, it looks like a giant baseball bat. It’s actually not a ship. It can’t sail under its own power. It’s best described as an oversized buoy. When in use, the back end of FLIP sinks. This leaves the front end out of the water, sticking straight up. This position is incredibly stable. It allows researchers to use very delicate and sensitive equipment. This equipment couldn’t be used on a wave-battered ship. FLIP is an invaluable resource for oceanographic research.
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