An astonishing 95% of the world’s oceans remain undiscovered, a complete mystery of blue abyss. New sea creatures are discovered all of the time, like the adorable pink octopus we shared with you last week. America’s Ocean Exploration Team recently uncovered even more strange never-before-seen sea creatures on the seafloor near the US Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.
The Puerto Rico trench is massive, reaching up to 28,000 feet deep it is the deepest trench in the Atlantic Ocean and the eighth deepest trench in the entire world. In an interview with Quartz, Andrea Quattrini, the co-lead on the deep-sea expedition said: “It’s pretty amazing that we haven’t been there yet, exploring really deep depths.”
The team set out between April 9th and April 30th, 2015 on a ship known as the Okeanos Explorer. The team goal was to uncover uncharted deep-sea ecosystems and seafloor around Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands.
This area was picked because it offers trenches, valleys, canyons, and troughs full of diversity. Going into the expedition it was highly probable that new species would be discovered.
Expectations were most certainly met as the team discovered some pretty incredible never-before-seen sea creatures. What they found throughout 12 different dives is enough to keep scientists busy for a very long time.
The team uncovered 100 species of fish, 50 species of deep-water corals, and hundreds of other invertebrates, many of which have never been seen before and therefore have no name or classification.
The incredible and somewhat alien-like creatures you see here have no formal name or explanation, at least not yet. Just goes to show how much remains undiscovered on our vast planet!
The next adventure for the team will take place between July and September off the coast of Hawaii. Keep up with updates through the Ocean Explorer website.
Photo Credits: oceanexplorer.noaa.gov