Eighty percent of our oceans are unexplored by humans, and each dive into the deep depths of the uncharted ocean territory yields surprising and impressive discoveries. The most recent deep sea expedition off the coast of Baja in Mexico didn’t disappoint with the discovery of six new species and impressive hydrothermal vents.
The expedition was conducted by scientists from the US and Mexico and took place over the course of 33 days. Images captured by a Schmidt Ocean Institute research vessel show some of the marvels living far below the surface.
Some of the most striking discoveries include hydrothermal vents. First discovered in the late 1970s, these vents shoot out warm, mineral-filled water and support a wide variety of deep sea creatures. These vents yield what researchers call “underwater lakes,” where hot fluid gathers in an underwater cave, creating a mirror-like effect that looks like a lake.
In terms of animals, one key discovery of the expedition was the presence of Peinaleopolynoe orphanae worms. These worms, called “Elvis worms” by the researchers, look like they are adorned with sequins.
Check out images of these amazing phenomena and read more about them here.