British charity for ocean exploration Nekton has organized a two-year deep ocean survey and recently, it has made its results public. It seems that there is a new ocean zone around Bermuda which is home for over 100 aquatic species that are yet to be studied. This rare light zone, also called rariphotic, lies about 400 to 1,000 feet beneath the surface. It’s interesting that it’s also between some other areas that have distinct biological communities too.
A team of marine research scientists from Oxford led this incredible research. They focused their work mostly on the Bermuda Platform in the North Atlantic. In this area, the analysts hoped to find out more about changing chemical, biological and physical parameters in the ecosystems there which included the Gulf Stream. What they found was unexpected and shocked them all. The team discovered more than 100 unknown aquatic species. From black wire coral and tiny tanaids, to a very large number of algae varieties.
New aquatic species found in area near Bermuda
According to Oxford professor Alex Rogers, who was part of the research, to find something so unexpected in the Bermuda waters, which experts have studied in detail for years, it’s completely crazy and shocking. Since 2016, when the research started, the team analyzed over 40,000 specimens and 4,000 gallons of water samples.
Among their discoveries were at least 13 new crustacean species, including gnathiid isopods, tanaids, and leptostracans. This research has also revealed dozens of new species of algae. They only prove that there is a strong biogeographical connection between Bermuda and the Indo-Pacific area. A scientific journal is probably going to publish the entire results from the XL Catlin Deep Ocean Survey in September, this year. According to the researchers, this discovery proves how little we still know about underwater life. Also, how fascinating it actually is.
Image source: flickr