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More than 100 never-before-seen species discovered during deep sea expedition
Featured Image Credit: SchmidtOcean/YouTube

More than 100 never-before-seen species discovered during deep sea expedition

Deep sea explorers in Chile made the shocking discovery and have explained what will happen next

Searching the deepest parts of the ocean sounds terrifying but if you ever do find yourself doing it, you can only hope to make as impressive discovery as these scientists.

You have probably heard before that we know more about the surface of the moon than we do the deep sea.

However, while this isn’t strictly true (really, have a Google) exploring the deepest recesses of planet Earth is still a fascinating topic, especially when you make such an groundbreaking find.

Back in February, the Schmidt Ocean Institute confirmed that an international team of explorers discovered more than 100 species that had never been seen before.

The team of scientists, led by Dr. Javier Sellanes, found species living off on seamounts off the coast of Chile. Seamounts are essentially underwater mountains rising from the seafloor.

(Schmidt Ocean/Youtube)
(Schmidt Ocean/Youtube)

“The recent Schmidt Ocean Institute expedition resulted in identifying deep-sea corals, glass sponges, sea urchins, amphipods, squat lobsters, and other species likely new to science,” the institute said.

So unlucky if you were hoping we had finally found Nessie or Cthulhu lurking in the deep.

“The team explored seamounts along the Nazca and Salas y Gómez Ridge, both inside and outside Chile’s jurisdiction, to collect data that could support the designation of an international high-seas marine protected area,” the institute explained in a press release.

(Schmidt Ocean/YouTube)
(Schmidt Ocean/YouTube)

“The Salas y Gómez Ridge is a 2,900-kilometer-long underwater mountain chain comprising more than 200 seamounts that stretch from offshore Chile to Rapa Nui, also known as Easter Island.”

The scientists weren't just bopping around in their scuba gear and in fact were using an underwater robot that is capable of descending up to depths of 4,500 meters to collect data.

The discovery is expected to help advance Chile’s marine protection habits as scientists found each seamount hosted distinct ecosystems, many of which are vulnerable.

(Schmidt Ocean/YouTube)
(Schmidt Ocean/YouTube)

Sellanes expressed his enthusiasm for the discovery and was optimistic about the improvements to conservation efforts in the region.

“We far exceeded our hopes on this expedition. You always expect to find new species in these remote and poorly explored areas, but the amount we found, especially for some groups like sponges, is mind-blowing,” he said.

“These thriving and healthy ecosystems indicate that the Nazca-Desventuradas and Juan Fernández Marine Parks effectively protect delicate marine habitats.”

However, he did note that full identification of the species will take time, even years.

A shame we don’t just have a Pokémon Pokédex handy, but a man can dream.

Topics: News, Science, World News, Animals