A New Ship’s Mission: Let the Deep Sea Be Seen

Mr. Dalio is one of a growing number of billionaire philanthropists seeking to reinvent themselves as patrons of social progress through science research. According to Forbes, he has an estimated net worth of $16.9 billion, making him one of the world’s richest individuals. His firm, Bridgewater Associates, is regularly described as the world’s largest hedge fund.

“There’s nothing like OceanXplorer,” said Rob Munier, head of marine facilities and operations at Woods Hole. “It’s geared toward taking the concept of great science and great media to the next level.”

A riddle of the modern world, Mr. Dalio added, is why understanding and protecting the ocean gets relatively little money, time and effort compared with outer space. “If you think about the excitement and the importance, there’s no comparison.”