A huge collection of bizarre creatures have been found deep under the sea in a recent scientific expedition.
Scientists have discovered aliens, but not in space: deep under the Indian Ocean, where strange creatures have been observed near a deep-sea vent. These bizarre animals lurk around a vent the spews super-hot water filled with minerals that they depend on to live, and scientists have identified some new species.
The discoveries include a new snail and limpet, and a hairy-chested Hoff crab, named after David Hasselhoff for his famously hairy chest. The vent is 1.7 miles beneath the surface, about 1,200 miles southeast of Madagascar off the coast of Africa.
Scientists made the discoveries with an ROV expedition. Some of these animals had been observed at other deep-sea vents, but some of them were totally brand new.
The research team was led by Jon Copley of the University of Southampton in the United Kingdom. They launched the ROV from the RRS James Cook back in 2011. The team collected samples of faune living around the vents, which spew out water heated to 570 degrees Fahrenheit.
“We can be certain that the new species we’ve found also live elsewhere in the southwest Indian Ocean, as they will have migrated here from other sites, but at the moment no-one really knows where, or how well-connected their populations are with those at Longqi,” said Dr Copley. “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.”