Trove of new horror species discovered in Australian abyss
What lies hidden deep in the ocean? That was the question that the crew of the research vessel RV investigator tried to answer on a month-long exploration expedition from the East Australian abyssal for the first time.
The National Marine Ship Fund was led by the Victoria Museum, CSIRO and other research organizations, and retired in mid-May from Launceston on the quay in Brisbane, Queensland Friday, June 16
“The Gulf is home to the world’s largest and deepest, covering half of the world’s oceans and a third of Australia’s territory, but it remains the most unexplored environment on Earth,” said Tim O’Hara, Chief curator of the Victoria Museum, at the start of the trip.
At 4000 feet in the ocean, the abyssopelagic area was hard to explore. It is so deep that light can not penetrate, and therefore extremely cold. In addition, the pressure at which the depth is overwhelming. So far, they have taken only a small number of samples from the abyss of Australia – but there is much to learn from them.
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“The data collected on this trip will be crucial to understanding Australia’s ocean habitats, biodiversity and the ecological processes that underpin them. This will help conservation and management and help protect the impacts of climate change, pollution and pollution Other human activities, “O’Hara said.
Using multibeam sonar, the team assigns the floor to the abyss, which sends them to collect clothing such as sled trawl nets without breaking on the rocks. And they brought a treasure of more than 1,000 different species of terrible dice in depth, more than a third is completely new to science.
And being abyssal creatures adapted to survive in the great freezing darkness, they are rather grotesque to our terrestrial human eyes – viscous, dentate and luminescent, and in a very memorable event, rather than a little phallic.
The team also found a worrying amount of pollution.
“We have found significant excess levels at the bottom of the sea,” O’Hara said. “We are 100 kilometers off the coast of Australia and we found PVC pipes, paint cans, bottles, beer cans, wood chips and other waste from the era where the ships steamed our waters. This type of information is the first step in influencing social attitudes towards waste disposal. ”
Now that the crew has landed with its collection of specimens, the science team is processing and photographing them and keeping them for museums around the world. These can be used for research purposes in the coming years.