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Published 2016-12-19
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Scientists discover new marine species under the Indian Ocean

Every day the scientists and researchers are finding something new, that has life and exists. Throughout our human existence, we never seem to run out of things to discover. From space to earth to inventing something to even discovering substances that are impossible to see with the naked eye. Sometimes it’s a discovery that was already made years ago or it’s a completely new one.

A few years back some new marine species were discovered by scientists that are 1.7 miles under the ocean, the Indian Ocean to be specific, and 1,243 miles Southeast of Madagascar. The exploration was conducted in 2011 using a remote controlled underwater device to scour the ocean bed. Scientists brought to light the new species of crab, snails, limpet and worms.

Gigantic slugs and hairy crabs were some of the six species of marine creatures found hiding away close to the hydrothermal vents below the Indian Ocean. Researchers came across this one in a million catch while observing the seabed, which is practically the size of a football stadium. They found some pretty amazing things, which we would never ever think that could exist.

The head of the research team, from the University of Southampton, Dr. Copley believes that these new beings could be found anywhere in the Southwest Indian Ocean. It is possible that it can migrate to other sites. However, no one is certain how dense the population can be close to the vents. Before activities of deep-sea mining and mineral exploration can take place, they need to explore and investigate more of the area.

The Hydrothermal vents are situated at 1,243 miles southeast of Madagascar and are called the Longqi vents, or better known as Dragon Breath. Now that is something interesting to see! Most of these species are believed to prosper only in these vents, the Longqi vents since it’s the first time discovered by mankind. However, it’s not confirmed whether they can be found somewhere else.

In the study published in the nature research journal of Scientific Reports, it is stated that after the initial investigations of the hydrothermal vents during the late 1970’s, in the eastern Pacific, more than 250 active vents have been found throughout the world, and more than 400 new marine species have been discovered from these environments from at least 11 biogeographic provinces.

In 2001, from the University of Southampton, a group started to scout the area through a waterproof vehicle that was navigated underwater, on the seabed, for 22 hours. The team was able to identify more than twelve mineral vent chimneys. These vents are two stories high or more from the seabed. Now, this creates a lot of attention for future sea mining, as these vents are rich in copper and gold.

Apart from this, the chimneys were decorated with species that has never been recorded anywhere in the oceans our planet holds. The Longqi vents and this expedition are the first to be searched using a remotely operated vehicle (ROV), that was able to go down that deep into the ocean floor. Which is pretty cool considering how deep the ocean or sea can go.

So far the only deep sea creatures that were discovered from the Longqi vents were a type of ‘Hoff’ crabs, that were hairy-chested; two types of snails, and a type of limpet, which was given the name Bathymodiolus marisindicus; a type of scale worm called Peinaleopolynoe; and a type of worm called Hesiolyra.

One of the types of snails, called Gigantopelta aegis, is the only creature to be formally described. The scientists also discovered other types of creatures at the Longqi vents that can also be found in vents in other oceans. Also, the new species of scale worm reside in the vents of East Scotia Ridge in the Antarctic, and species of ragworm live at the vents of the eastern Pacific, which is around 3,728 and 6,213 miles away from the present location.
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Source: Giphy,Daily Mail, Scientific Reports

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