exploration

24 October, 2018

Source: Ecologist
Author: Oliver Tickell

Innovative research is uncovering previously unknown species in deep seas vulnerable to over-fishing, pollution and habitat destruction.

Oceans researcher and campaigner Alex Rogers first experienced the full visual impact of ocean plastic pollution in 2015: “I was diving in Honduras in 2015 at Utila in the Bay Islands and there were all these beautiful coral reefs, but as we came around the island we were faced with a raft of rubbish stretching out as far as you could see: plastic bottles, expanded polystyrene, fibreglass, every kind of human waste you could imagine … I have never witnessed such a huge quantity of debris. It was horrific.”

Not that it was his first brush with ocean plastic. That had come three years earlier, when he and his team were exploring seamounts in the Indian Ocean between Madagascar and Antarctica.

Continue reading Novel ecosystems in the deep sea

22 October, 2018

Source: Popular Science
Author: Sara Chodosh

If you want deep sea footage to go viral, you have to give whatever creature you find a funny name. Blobfish, for example, are always popular—and now so is the ‘headless chicken monster,’ which is really a swimming sea cucumber (but sounds more interesting if you call it a headless chicken monster).

Continue reading This headless chicken is the deep-sea ‘monster’ of our dreams

18 October, 2018

Source: News18

Scientists claim to have discovered a new underwater world off the Tasmanian coast made up of volcanic mountain peaks that tower about 3km from the seafloor.

During a 25-day research expedition, a team of researchers from the Australia National University detected the chain of volcanic seamounts 400km east of Tasmania using detailed seafloor mapping technology.

A seamount is a mountain that rises from the ocean floor but remains below the water surface.

Continue reading Volcanic Underwater World Discovered Off Coast of Tasmania

8 October, 2018

Source: ABC News
Author: Carla Howarth

Scientists have uncovered a chain of volcanic seamounts towering up to three kilometres from the seafloor off Tasmania’s east coast which are proving a food magnet for marine life.

The underwater mountains, which are nearly 2 kilometres below the surface, were mapped by the CSIRO’s research vessel Investigator, 400 kilometres off the coast.

Dr Tara Martin, from the CSIRO mapping team, said some of the seamounts have sharp peaks while others have wide flat plateaus.

Continue reading Whales, seabirds drawn to chain of volcanic seamounts off Tasmanian coast

22 September, 2018

Source: Business Insider
Author: Jeremy Berke

The seafloor is one of the last unexplored regions of our watery planet.

On a recent expedition dubbed Deep Search 2018, a group of ocean researchers discovered 85 miles of deep-sea coral reef off the coast of the southeastern US.

“Good news is too rare these days, and this is a victory that we can all share. We have found a pristine coral reef in our own backyard,” Erik Cordes, the chief scientist on the expedition and a deep-sea ecologist at Temple University, wrote in a mission summary.

Continue reading Scientists discovered 85 miles of deep-sea coral reef hidden off the US East Coast — here’s what it looks like

21 September, 2018

Source: Nature
Author: Amy Maxmen

“Gummy squirrels,” single-celled organisms the size of softballs and strange worms thrive in a Pacific Ocean zone some considered an underwater desert.

Deep in the eastern central Pacific Ocean, on a stretch of sea floor nearly as big as the continental United States, researchers are discovering species faster than they can name them. And they are exploring newfound fossil beds of whales that lived up to 16 million years ago.

The findings — many reported for the first time last week at the Deep-Sea Biology Symposium in Monterey, California — have come as a shock. Some scientists had thought these vast underwater plains, 4,000–5,500 metres below the ocean surface, were relatively lifeless. But that is changing just as nations and corporations prepare to mine this patch of the Pacific sea bed for cobalt, manganese and other elements for use in technologies such as smartphones and electric cars.

Continue reading Discovery of vibrant deep-sea life prompts new worries over seabed mining

18 September, 2018
Source: lostcity.biology.utah.edu

A deep-sea expedition to the Lost City hydrothermal field begins in September 2018. The Lost City is a beautiful seafloor formation whose unique scientific and cultural value has brought it under consideration for special protection by the UNESCO World Heritage Centre and International Union for Conservation of Nature. The Lost City is also featured in many studies on the origin of life and the search for life in the solar system. This will be the first US expedition dedicated to the Lost City since the 2003-2005 expeditions.

Continue reading Return to the Lost City 2018