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New forms of life discovered in the Pacific seabed

New forms of life discovered in the Pacific seabed

The Schmidt Ocean Institute has discovered new forms of life while mapping the seabed.

Human beings feel a certain fascination towards the unknown. We believe that we already know everything about the species that inhabit our planet and we look to the sky in order to discover if there is life in space, although the truth is that there is still much to discover without having to go beyond the troposphere.

Without going any further, the latest research carried out by the Falkor aquatic vehicle, from the Schmidt Ocean Institute, has revealed more than 100 new forms of life unknown until nowas well as four uncharted seamountss previously.

Schmidt Ocean Institute: studying the oceans in depth

He Schmidt Ocean Institute was founded in 2009 with the objective of serving as a hub and carrying out the discoveries needed to understand our oceans, sustain life and ensure the health of our planet. The institute pursues impact scientific research and intelligent observation, technological advancement, open exchange of information and public engagement at the highest level of international excellence.

The Falkor has the latest technology on board.

The Falkor: key vehicle for research

On January 8, the Falkor embarked on a new mission with the objective of map 50,000 square kilometers of the Pacific. After just over a month of work, and with their objective accomplished, they have returned to land with a pleasant surprise: the discovery of more than 100 new marine species, including lobsters, sponges, sea urchins or amphipods not known until now.

One of the main objectives of this expedition was study underwater mountain ranges of Nazca and Salas y Gómez, which contain a chain of seamounts that extend over 2,900 kilometers in the southeastern Pacific Ocean, from Chile to Rapa Nui (Easter Island). During the expedition, researchers were able to map four seamounts. And, be careful, because one of them measures more than 3 kilometers high.

Javier Sellanes, doctor in Oceanography from the Catholic University of Chile and leader of the Falkor mission.

During the study of the different seamounts it has been discovered that each one has its own ecosystem, with unique species not seen until now. Javier Sellanes, doctor in Oceanography from the Catholic University of Chile and leader of the Falkor mission, said this in the Schmidt Ocean Institute website: ‘You always hope to find new species in these remote and little-explored areas, but the amount we find, especially for some groups like sponges, is very important. These prosperous and healthy ecosystems indicate that the Nazca-Desventuradas and Juan Fernández marine parks effectively protect delicate marine habitats.’

Animals were not the only Falkor discovery, since, as we have mentioned, they also has been able to map four seamountsincluding one that measures more than three kilometers high and that has already been baptized with the name ‘sole’. Currently the Falkor has returned to sea and has been immersed in new missions since the end of February.

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Source: Viajar

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