Scientists Spotted A ‘Desert’ In The Pacific Ocean

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The middle of the Pacific ocean marks the farthest point from land on the planet. This region is a little different than the others. The waters here are designated as the South Pacific Gyre or Point Nemo, which means that this area is inaccessible to the craft of any kind. It is one of the ocean’s no go zones as it is incredibly remote, being so isolated that it has been chosen as the place where spacecraft go to die.

Water ‘Desert; Discovered In The Pacific Ocean

What actually lives here? Other than satellite wreckage. It was believed that the area was more or less lacking life forms like a desert. Despite forming 10 percent of the planet’s ocean mass. Many factors come together to make life inhospitable here. This is one of the world’s current hubs.

So the water traffic here makes for undesired home fronts. Another essential factor that neutralizes the area is its exposure to higher amounts of solar radiation.

Food is a big issue as nutrients are scarce here. No nearby landmass in any direction makes up for lack of ecosystem stability that helps provide food.

The Exploration Of The ‘Desert’ In The Pacific Ocean

The area is challenging to explore because of its isolation. Not much has been gathered about Point Nemo due to its size as well, covering around 37 million square kilometers. Despite this, a research party has been dispatched to study the area. The German research vessel FS Sonne surveyed some of the fields during a six-week expedition. A crew from the Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology took a 7000-kilometer journey from South America to New Zealand.

Once through the oceanic desert, they managed to collect microbe samples from depths ranging from 20 meters to 5000. A new system developed for quick analysis helped the researchers sequence and identify the samples within 35 hours.

Researchers comment on their findings: “To our surprise, we found about third fewer cells in South Pacific surface waters compared to ocean gyres in the Atlantic. It was probably the lowest cell numbers ever measured in oceanic surface waters.”

Despite this, the team has found and cataloged 20 separate bacterial species that were dominant in the study. Among these, a species designated AEGEAN-169 was the most numerous, at a depth of 500 meters. Water depth, nutrient levels, temperature, and light were factors that influenced their findings.

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