Scientists have made an astonishing discovery off British Columbia’s Central coast.
After an ambitious, 16 day expedition, researchers have returned with over 150 specimens for analysis.
What’s more, the expedition explored previously undiscovered underwater volcanoes. Further, these deep sea discoveries are brimming with life. While extinct, the sides of the volcanoes are covered with vibrant red coral and other marine life.
What is particularly fascinating, however, is that many of these creatures may be new species. Specifically, the group identified possible new species of coral, sea snail, and sponge.
Underwater Volcanoes in BC
In total, the expedition covered nine of these amazing underwater seamounts. CBC News spoke to Robert Rangley, the science director for the non-profit Oceana Canada, about the experience.
“We would dive from 7 in the morning to 7 at night and every turn was different,” he said.
“We saw hundreds of species — dozens and dozens of different kinds of fishes, and a range of invertebrate species, from fabulous feather stars and crinoids and cucumbers and crabs, to lobsters and octopus and so on.”
Interestingly, most of the world’s seamounts are unmapped. In fact, the Pacific Ocean may contain as many as 50,000 of these incredible ecosystems.