These interesting sea creatures will remind you of Fringe.
Almost everybody may have heard of Fringe, a once popular sci-fi TV series that aired between 2008 and 2013. In this TV show, we see our protagonist, Walter Bishop, dealing with some bizarre cases happening around the world. Sometimes, one of these cases is the genetically mutated and horrific creatures that were produced for bioterrorist purposes. The creatures in this post, though, do not exist for bioterrorist purposes. Actually, they are there well before the humanity, maybe. The discovery made by an international group of scientists investigating marine biodiversity shed light on the existence of these co-inhabitants of our world living in the abyssal waters off the eastern coasts of Australia. The research was led by Museums Victoria. We seem to hear some of you saying “what is abyss?” Well, let’s explain: The abyssal zone is the deepest part of the ocean, around 2.5 miles, in which there is a continuous darkness and an extremely low temperature between 2-3 °C. Because of the low temperature, increasing pressure, and lack of light, it may be hard to imagine any creature capable of living down there. It is not possible to admire them, therefore. Before the expedition, Tim O’ Hara, the leader of the scientists and Museums Victoria’s Senior Curator of Marine Invertebrates, pointed out:
“The abyss is the largest and deepest habitat on the planet, covering half the world’s oceans and one-third of Australia’s territory, but it remains the most unexplored environment on Earth”
Red Spiny Crab
Spending a month on their vessel, The Investigator, the researchers collected more than 100 species. More interestingly, five of these species are thought to have never been come across before! The hard work of the researchers is also praiseworthy.
Working in shifts, they lowered their equipment to 2.5 miles underwater, which probably took long hours, and trawled the ocean floor until they come across “something”. This hard word of theirs is also confirmed by Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) ichthyologist John Pogonoski who claims that they spent hours processing the samples.
Pogonoski thinks that this research is quite significant as it will enhance our understanding of the submarine life. Another result of the research is a bit disappointing, though. Besides these creatures, a huge amount of waste at the alarming levels was also found. Dr. Hara says:
“We have found highly concerning levels of rubbish on the seafloor. We’re 100 kilometers off Australia’s coast and have found PVC pipes, cans of paints, bottles, beer cans, woodchips, and other debris from the days when steamships plied our waters. The seafloor has 200 years of rubbish on it. Hopefully, information such as this is the first step in influencing social attitudes towards rubbish disposal,”
The samples from the expedition will be stored in the natural science collection of the Museums Victoria’s. More info: nespmarine.edu.au