Log In

Reset Password

Deep sea ‘garden’ explored

First Prev 1 2 3 Next Last

A deep sea forest teeming with life has been explored for the first time by scientists inside submersible craft off the shores of Bermuda.

Divers from the Nekton Foundation described the find, on the unexplored Argus Seamount off Bermuda, as a “new biological hotspot”.

Some of the discoveries came as a surprise to Bermudian scientists taking part, according to Nekton.

The initiative, part of the XL Catlin Deep Ocean Survey, uncovered a rich algal forest, according to Oxford University scientist Alex Rogers.

The algae creates “an abundance of healthy mesophotic corals”, Professor Rogers said — growths that normally occur at depth of 30 to 40 metres, but which can extend down to 150m. Mesophotic organisms dwell in dim-lit areas of the sea.

Known to locals as Argus Banks, the popular fishing spot lies roughly 30 miles to the island's southwest.

The deepwater peak is among more than 100,000 worldwide — but fewer than 40 have been biologically sampled in detail.

Its slopes were found to have a “garden of twisted wire corals and hydrocorals hiding fast-moving sea urchins, green moray eels, yellow hermit crabs and a yet to be identified species of small pink and yellow fish”, Nekton said.

The survey continues until August 14.

Voyage of discovery: a submersible breaks the surface after a dive at Argus Banks (Photograph by Nekton and the XL Catlin Deep Ocean Survey)
Beneath the waves: a submersible explores Argus Seamount (Photograph by Nekton and the XL Catlin Deep Ocean Survey)
Secrets of the deep: the scientists look at organisms on the ocean bed (Photograph by Nekton and the XL Catlin Deep Ocean Survey)

You must be Registered or to post comment or to vote.

Published August 03, 2016 at 9:00 am (Updated August 03, 2016 at 8:13 am)

Deep sea ‘garden’ explored

What you
Need to
1. For a smooth experience with our commenting system we recommend that you use Internet Explorer 10 or higher, Firefox or Chrome Browsers. Additionally please clear both your browser's cache and cookies - How do I clear my cache and cookies?
2. Please respect the use of this community forum and its users.
3. Any poster that insults, threatens or verbally abuses another member, uses defamatory language, or deliberately disrupts discussions will be banned.
4. Users who violate the Terms of Service or any commenting rules will be banned.
5. Please stay on topic. "Trolling" to incite emotional responses and disrupt conversations will be deleted.
6. To understand further what is and isn't allowed and the actions we may take, please read our Terms of Service
7. To report breaches of the Terms of Service use the flag icon