As a new study suggests, underwater hot springs may give off other treasures other than copper and gold. During a survey, led by a joint team of researchers from the University of Newcastle and Southampton University in London, the scientists were able to discover six new species living near hot springs at the bottom of the Indian Ocean.
The robot-led observation took place in November 2011 and yielded valuable information on organisms living at the bottom of the ocean. The researchers used an ROV (remotely operated vehicle) to explore the area that bisects the sea between Africa and Antarctica known as the Southwest Indian Ridge.
The cluster of hot springs goes by the name of Longqui, which translates into English as Dragon’s Breath. It is approximately 1.7 miles deep below the Indian Ocean’s surface and roughly 1,200 miles southeast of Madagascar. Prior to the search, the area has been licensed for seabed mineral exploration.
New Species at the Bottom of Indian Ocean
By operating the ROV, the team of researchers discovered and labeled new species of worms at the bottom of Indian Ocean, namely the Polychaete worm and scale worm, a new species of crabs related to the Hoff crab, limpet, whelk-like snail, giant peltospirid snail, and limpet.
One of the researchers at the University of Southampton, Jon Copley believes that even though these species have been discovered at Longqi, the representatives might have migrated from other areas around the globe. However, the scientists still struggle to find their point of origin and how well-connected the populations discovered at Longqi are with the ones also discovered in the southwest waters of the Indian Ocean.
According to the scientific community, hydrothermal vents regularly attract multiple species previously unknown to the world. As of today, 400 new species have been discovered dwelling around hydrothermal vents. Jon Copley explains that the vents act as a meeting point for multiple species, as many individuals are attracted by the warm waters of the hot springs. So much so that several scale worms typically found in Antarctic hydrothermal vents have been discovered at Longqi.
The study on the diversity of marine life surrounding hot springs at the bottom of the Indian Ocean has been published in journal Scientific Reports, earlier this week.
Image Source: Wikipedia
Latest posts by Anne-Marie Jackson (see all)
- SF Hospital Slaps New Parents with $19K Bill for Baby Treatment - Jun 29, 2018
- Furious Trump Blasts Harley-Davidson for Moving Production Overseas - Jun 28, 2018
- Warning! MRI Machines Could Poison You - Jun 27, 2018