Featured Image Credit: NESTA-US Twitter
We as humans have been exploring the sea at deeper and deeper levels with fancy robots and high-tech gear for years, but there is so much we still don’t know. Recently, a deep-sea expedition made two amazing discoveries: 100 new species in a new oceanic zone.
Oxford University researchers partnered with British ocean exploration charity Nekton, and jointly they discovered the rariphotic zone (rare light zone) in the waters off Bermuda. The new area sits underneath a previously explored zone and lies 400 to 1,000 feet underwater. There, a team of 80 scientists found 100 new species- mostly types of algae, crustaceans, and coral.
These new findings were shocking to the researchers because of how well-traveled and well-studied the Bermuda waters are. They were not expecting to make any large discoveries of new species. The newly discovered Bermuda area is thought to be a cooler safe haven for organisms seeking to escape heat surfacing water temperatures.
100 new species found in Rariphotic Zone in Bermuda
Area is well studies & shows how little we know of the ocean & importance of protecting the waters @OxUniEarthSci @nektonmissionhttps://t.co/qLBLVXiLin#ocean #climate #EarthScience #marinebiology #STEM pic.twitter.com/s8SrJQ9ONQ
— NESTA-US🌎 (@NESTA_US) May 9, 2018
The reason scientists are constantly discovering new species is two-fold. For one, DNA testing is constantly becoming more advanced. And sensitive testing is able to tell when two species that look identical are actually different. And of course, although it may seem well explored, there is still so much of the waters we have yet to discover.
A study determined that we have only discovered one-third of the ocean species. Most of the species still undiscovered are likely to be small, but some scientists believe that there are up to eight undiscovered species of dolphin and whales.
Finding new species isn’t the only reason we continue to deep-sea dive. Further study of the behaviors of already known species can help us better understand how to ocean works.
Learn more from our source.