Current Biology reports that researchers have discovered over 5000 new species in an untouched area of the Pacific Ocean.
Approximately 88% to 92% of the 5,578 new species discovered were new to science.
In the Clarion-Clipperton Zone (CCZ), a 1.7 million square mile area between Hawaii and Mexico, the 5000 new species were discovered in Pacific Ocean. Scientists have set out to research the ecosystem of the area before mining begins, since it is rich in minerals and is likely to be mined in the future.
A co-author of the study, Adrian Glover, a researcher at the Natural History Museum in London, said it is imperative that we work with companies looking to mine these resources to minimize their environmental impact.
The CCZ was first explored in the 1960s, and informal species lists were created between the late 1970s and 1990s.
Muriel Rabone, a deep-sea researcher at the Natural History Museum and the study’s lead author, is surprised by how little we actually know.
Even though we’ve been visiting the CCZ since the 1960s, and it’s the best-known abyssal region, we know only 10% of its species-level diversity,” she said.
Around 5000 new species were found in the pacific ocean.There are a variety of species in the CCZ, including sea cucumbers, sponges, crustaceans, worms, and even fish, according to the Natural History Museum. Glover told The Guardian that one of the incredible discoveries in the region was nicknamed a “gummy squirrel” due to its jelly-like appearance.
ISEA reports that 19 contracts have been awarded to deep-sea mining contractors to explore the Clarion-Clipperton Zone.