A new ocean zone in Bermuda showed scientists its special and unique ecosystem. What’s most amazing is that the scientists just discovered the zone, and they found 100 new species of marine life.
When investigating the state of the ocean in Bermuda, the Sargasso Sea, and the Northwest Atlantic regions, the team of divers – led by researchers from the Oxford University, found a Rariphotic Zone (rare light zone).
Using submersibles and vehicles remotely operated, they were able to dive deep underwater. That’s how they discovered that a few miles from the coast, there was a zone of 226 – 984 feet that hosted over 100 new marine species.
It’s The Fourth Zone Housing New Species of Marine Life
Until now, there have been other three zones discovered like this one, containing distinct species of marine life: Altiphotic, Mesophotic, and Bathyal Zone.
They found small and huge animals: tanaids, gnathiid isopods, leptostracans, pink and yellow fish, green moray eels, yellow hermit crabs. They also found twisted black wire coral that measured up to two meters high. There were sea urchins, sea fans, and tens of new species of algae.
One of the scientists in the team, professor Craig Schneider (Trinity College, Connecticut), stated:
“We believe we have discovered dozens of new species of algae including the deepest ever record to have had its DNA sequenced. Many are recognized for demonstrating a new bio-geographical link between Bermuda and the Indo-Pacific.”
The mission started in 2016, and the scientists have kept busy. They have analyzed over 40,000 species of marine life and 15,000 liters of water samples.
Finding More About Marine Life to Protect Them
Alex Rogers is the scientific director of Nekton. He said that they weren’t expecting to see such a great diversity of marine life, not to mention new species:
“Considering the Bermudian waters have been comparatively well studied for many decades, we certainly weren’t expecting such a large number and diversity of new species.”
He also added that it’s vital to research more about marine life living in the depths of the oceans. That’s because only that way we know how to protect them.
Their study has been peer-reviewed and then published, more synthesized results being ready to be released this year in September.
Rex Austinwas born and raised in Thunder Bay Ontario on the shores of Lake Superior. Apart from running his own podcast (Ice Fishing And Other “Cool” Things), he spends his time canoeing and backpacking in Northern Ontario.. As a journalist Rex has published stories for Global News (Thunder Bay) we well as Buzz Feed and Joystiq. As a contributor to Great Lakes Ledger, Rex most covers science and health stories. Contact Rexhere