The ocean covers over 70% of the Earth’s surface and is home to countless species of marine life, with scientists estimating up to a million undiscovered species. Scientists use submersibles, ROVs, and seabed sampling to study the ocean and identify new species. In recent years, amazing discoveries have been made, including living coelacanth, giant squid, and deep-sea coral gardens. Discovering new species in the ocean helps us understand the ocean’s ecology, provides us with new sources of food and medicine, and reminds us of the incredible diversity of life on Earth. Every time scientists explore the ocean, they discover new species that have never been seen before, and many more species are yet to be discovered.
Diving into the Unknown: Discovering New Species in the Ocean
The ocean is an incredible and mysterious place that covers over 70% of the Earth’s surface. It is home to countless species of marine life, with scientists estimating that there could be up to a million species that are yet to be discovered. Every time scientists explore the depths of the ocean, they discover new species that have never been seen before. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the process of discovering new species in the ocean and some of the amazing finds that have been made in recent years.
How Are New Species Discovered in the Ocean?
Exploring the deep sea is no easy task. Scientists use a variety of methods to study the ocean and identify new species, including:
Submersibles are small underwater vehicles that are piloted by humans or operated remotely. They allow scientists to dive deep into the ocean and study marine life up close. Using robotic arms, they can collect samples and bring them back to the surface for analysis.
ROVs (Remotely Operated Vehicles)
ROVs are unmanned underwater vehicles that are controlled by scientists on the surface. They are used to explore areas that are difficult or dangerous for humans to access. Like submersibles, they can collect samples and take photographs of marine life.
Seabed sampling involves collecting sediment and rock samples from the ocean floor. By analyzing these samples, scientists can identify new species and learn more about the ocean’s ecology.
Amazing Discoveries in the Ocean
Over the years, scientists have made some incredible discoveries in the ocean. Here are just a few of them:
In 1938, a fisherman off the coast of South Africa caught a strange-looking fish that he had never seen before. He brought it to the local museum, where scientists identified it as a coelacanth. Coelacanths were thought to have gone extinct 70 million years ago, but this discovery proved otherwise. Today, scientists have identified two species of coelacanth, both of which are considered living fossils.
For centuries, sailors have told stories of giant squids that could swallow ships whole. In 2004, scientists finally got their first glimpse of a live giant squid in its natural habitat. The squid was over 26 feet long and had tentacles that were longer than a school bus. Since then, more sightings of giant squid have been reported, but they remain one of the most elusive creatures in the ocean.
Deep-Sea Coral Gardens
In 2016, scientists exploring the Gulf of Mexico discovered a series of deep-sea coral gardens. These corals were over 8000 feet below the surface and were home to a variety of marine life, including dozens of new species that had never been seen before. These coral gardens are a reminder that there is still so much to be discovered in the ocean.
Why is it Important to Discover New Species in the Ocean?
Discovering new species in the ocean is important for several reasons. First, it helps us understand the complexity of the ocean’s ecology and how different species interact with each other. Second, it can provide us with new sources of food, medicine, and other valuable resources. Finally, it reminds us of the incredible diversity of life on Earth and the importance of preserving our planet’s natural heritage.
How Many Species Are There in the Ocean?
Scientists estimate that there could be up to a million species in the ocean that have not yet been discovered. This is because much of the ocean is still unexplored, with only a fraction of the deep sea having been studied in detail.
Are There Any New Species Being Discovered Today?
Yes! Every time scientists explore the ocean, they discover new species that have never been seen before. In 2020, for example, researchers discovered a new species of comb jelly that glows in the dark. This is just one example of the amazing discoveries that are still being made in the ocean.
In conclusion, exploring the ocean is an amazing opportunity to discover new species that can help us understand the complexity of life on Earth. There is still so much to be discovered in the ocean, and every new find is a reminder of the incredible diversity of life on our planet.