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Massive underwater mountain twice the size of world's tallest building has been discovered

Rhianna Benson

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Massive underwater mountain twice the size of world's tallest building has been discovered

Featured Image Credit: Schmidt Ocean Institute/Fraser Hall/Getty Images

Scientists are still discovering magical, never-before seen phenomena hidden within the realms of planet Earth on an almost-daily basis.

Earlier this week, experts revealed there's a brand new super continent forming that is to be uninhabitable for humans - and the week before that, scientists uncovered ancient lost landscape under Antarctica dating back millions of years.

There's seemingly no end to the mysteries we're yet to solve when it comes to the ins and outs of our world.

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And speaking of shedding light on the unknown, this week a group of scientists mapping the seafloor off the coast of Guatemala made another extremely startling discovery.

The group had, in fact, stumbled across an colossal underwater mountain, which reached a height of 5,249ft (1,600m).

This makes the summit of the underwater peak TWICE the height of the Burj Khalifa - the tallest building in the word - in Dubai.

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The Schmidt Ocean Institute had made their discovery by using a 'multi-beam echosounder' on the Falkor research vessel.

Scientists made the discovery this week. Credit: Schmidt Ocean Institute
Scientists made the discovery this week. Credit: Schmidt Ocean Institute

Wendy Schmidt - co-founder and president of the institute - told press after news of the mountainous find began to spread: "While there is so much we've come to understand as discoveries tumble ever faster into view, so much remains unknown in our ocean - and we are thrilled to continue exploring."

The seamount sits 7,874ft (2,400m) below sea level, and covers an area of around a staggering 5.4 square miles (14 square kilometres).

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And even more dumbfounding, is that the group made the discovery entirely by chance!

Dr Jyotika Virmani, executive director of the institute, has now explained: "A seamount over 1.5km tall which has, until now, been hidden under the waves, really highlights how much we have yet to discover.

The mountain is twice the height of the Burj Khalifa. Credit: Getty/Frazer Hall
The mountain is twice the height of the Burj Khalifa. Credit: Getty/Frazer Hall

"A complete seafloor map is a fundamental element of understanding our ocean, so it's exciting to be living in an era where technology allows us to map and see these amazing parts of our planet for the first time."

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These underwater mountain ecosystems are recognised as hotspots for biodiversity, as they provide surfaces for vast array of creatures - everything from deep-sea corals to sponges.

These also provide homes for a host of invertebrates.

And even more exciting is that the team of scientists believe this newly discovered seamount could be one of plenty, with recent satellite-based estimates indicating there could actually be more than 100,000 unexplored seamounts.

And according to the institute, these will all likely be taller than 3,280ft (1,000m).

Topics: News, Science, Travel, World News

Rhianna Benson
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