Scientists Discover Over 5,000 New Species in the Pacific Ocean
At the bottom of the Pacific Ocean, more than 5,000 new species have been found recently by scientists.
In the Clarion-Clipperton Zone (CCZ) of the Pacific Ocean, scientists have found in excess of 5,000 varieties of organisms. According to the study, 88% to 92% of the species had never been observed previously.
Although the CCZ is well recognised for containing vital minerals used to make batteries, the area is additionally abundant in aquatic life. The huge area, which is 5,000 km long and 4,000–5,500 metres deep, is located in the central Pacific Ocean.
According to the study, the area has an abyssal seabed that is made up of murky deposits covered in potato-sized nodules of polymetallic ores that could be a source of minerals containing copper, nickel, cobalt, iron, manganese, and other rare earth elements. The area has been identified as a potential hotspot for mining in the deep sea.
“We share this planet with all this amazing biodiversity, and we have a responsibility to understand it and protect it,” said Muriel Rabone, the paper’s lead author and a deep-sea ecologist at the Natural History Museum (NHM), as quoted by WION.
According to Rabone, ecologists and biologists have started investigating the CCZ in an effort to gain an understanding of what might be in danger once businesses start digging. In addition to taking samples on research excursions to the Pacific Ocean, scientists also examined over 100,000 records of species they had discovered in the CCZ.
Rabone is mesmerized by the remarkable and unique biodiversity of the area, as he said: “There’s some just remarkable species down there. Some of the sponges look like classic bath sponges, and some look like vases. They’re just beautiful. One of my favourites is the glass sponges. They have these little spines, and under the microscope, they look like tiny chandeliers or little sculptures.”
Some excerpts from the research
The researchers are hoping to embrace a flurry of research in the CCZ area in the coming days.
“This is particularly important given that the CCZ remains one of the few remaining areas of the global ocean with high intactness of wilderness,” researchers wrote in the study.
“Sound data and understanding are essential to shed light on this unique region and secure its future protection from human impacts,” they further added.
“We make these data and interpretations open to all stakeholders to inform the ongoing debate on deep-sea mineral extraction and to grow our knowledge of the largest ecosystem on our planet,” the study mentioned.