Design a Deep-Sea Treasure

Design a deep-sea treasure to be placed on the seafloor (4000m below the sea surface) for the Shell Ocean Discovery XPRIZE teams to find.

Challenge Overview


Design an object that XPRIZE will place on the seafloor at 4,000 meters beneath the sea surface as part of a high-tech underwater Treasure Hunt for the Finalist teams in the Shell Ocean Discovery XPRIZE.



The $7 Million Shell Ocean Discovery XPRIZE is a three-year international competition for innovation in deep-sea technologies to rapidly map the seafloor at a very high resolution and collect high-definition images from the ocean. The success of this prize will allow us to fully explore and map the ocean floor, uncovering our planet's greatest wonder and resource for the first time in human history.

We have nine teams from around the world competing for the final round of the competition and to win this XPRIZE, one of their challenges is a high-tech deep-sea Treasure Hunt – they will have to find an object that XPRIZE puts on the seafloor. The teams will use underwater robots equipped with a wide array of acoustic and optical technologies to achieve this task. We are asking you to help us by designing the object of this high-tech underwater Treasure Hunt.



The First Place Team and overall winner will be awarded the Grand Prize of $2000 and their School will receive a donation of $5000.

The Second and Third Place awards will be made in each of the following four categories:

1. Most Inspiring

2. Most Creative

3. Moonshot (craziest)

4. Most Environmentally Friendly

The Second Place Prize will be awarded to four teams, who will receive $1000 each and their Schools will receive a donation of $2000 each. The Third Place Prize will be awarded to four teams, who will receive $500 each and their Schools will receive a donation of $1000 each.



This competition is open internationally to all students aged 12 to 18 years old that are either enrolled in a school or are homeschooled. Participants can enter as an individual or as a team of up to four students.

Participants who are under the age of 18 must submit a Parent Consent Form. You can access the Parent Consent Form here: https://xprizefoundation.box.com/v/design-a-deep-sea-treasureform. Please upload the signed and completed document in the Parent Consent section of the submission form.

Family members of the Judging Panel are not eligible to participate.

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