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Deep Sea Creatures That Live In Boiling Sea Water Discovered By Scientists

First Posted: Dec 21, 2016 01:59 AM EST
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A team of researchers and scientists from the University of Southampton discovered six new deep sea creatures in the sea bed of the Indian Ocean, in a place called Longqui, which is southeast of Madagascar. These organisms were found in the proximity of undersea hydrothermal vents, where the water is extremely hot due to the hot streams and discharges. The research findings encompassing screening and identification of deep sea creatures were published in the Scientific Reports journal.

The research project was funded by the International Seabed Authority of the United Nations and encompassed study of the southwest Indian ridge with the help of remotely operated vehicles (ROVs). The expedition was aimed toward the analysis of sea bed about the size of a football field. The ROVs collected specimens during the expedition, which included previously uncharacterized deep sea creatures. The specimens were then studied in various laboratories.

The newly discovered species of deep sea creatures include a novel crab species, two worms, one species of limpets and two novel species of snails. Other specimens collected by the ROVs included previously studied animal species, which were originally isolated from distant sites. How and why these deep sea creatures traveled to the study site remains ambiguous, reported Natural Science News.

The study also revealed that the deep sea hydrothermal vents form chimney-like structures that blast hot water coming from further deep down. These chimneys were found to be made up of various mineral and metal deposits including copper, cobalt and gold. Due to this reason, these deep sea hydrothermal vent sites can be valuable sites for mining operations, according to Gizmodo.

According to scientific experts of the study, "Our results highlight the need to explore other hydrothermal vents in the southwest Indian Ocean and investigate the connectivity of their populations, before any impacts from mineral exploration activities and future deep-sea mining can be assessed."

The present study was not only helpful in discovering new deep sea creatures but it is expected that it will also help in determining the undersea mining strategies of the U.N. in the Longqi region.

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