Indonesian and American scientists discovered 52 new species in a joint deep-sea exploration. Fish, shrimp, coral and shells were discovered in a portion of the ocean ranging from 300 meters to 2,000 meters deep. The two-month-long research project took place in the Coral Triangle region, which is known to be rich in biodiversity.
Gellwyn Jusuf, an Indonesian representative of the expedition, remarked, “This is our first deep-sea research with the NOAA Okeanos and supported by every relevant agency here in Indonesia.” The Indonesian expedition also yielded the discovery of a number of sea mounts, which are mountains rising from the ocean floor. The explored area has active volcanoes both above sea level and below.
Okeanos is the American ocean vessel used for the research. It is equipped with advanced technology for exploring marine life. The newly discovered species were documented with cameras mounted on a remotely operated vehicle. There are two ROVs on the ship, and they can operate at depths of 6,000 meters. It also has technology called Telepresence which uses satellites to transmit information from the ship, such as video and audio, to scientists and classrooms on land far away. In addition the ship has a remote sensing technology which is used to survey the ocean floors and their topography. Deep sea maps are created using the technology. The vessel itself is 224 feet long and has sleeping arrangements for 46 people.
Image Credit: NOAA, Public Domain