Scientists have discovered more than 100 anonymous species of coral and other marine species during a research trip to southern Tasmania, Australia.
Scientists have discovered a colorful "underwater garden" at depths up to two kilometers south of the Australian state of Tasmania. They used special cameras to probe 45 underwater mountains, finding dozens of unidentified species of corals, lobsters and mollusks. The expedition also discovered bioluminescent squid, deep-sea sharks and basket eels.
Experts spent a month aboard the research vessel Investigator, which is operated by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization, or CSIRO. It is an independent agency of the Australian government responsible for scientific research.
Scientists have explored Tasmania's mountain ridges known as seamounts in the Australian marine parks Tasman Fracture and Huon.
The coral they found is soft, which means it is different from the coral on a tropical reef.
The main scientist on the expedition is Alan Williams of CSIRO.
"Incredibly in this kind of depth there are coral reefs that in many ways look like the types of reefs you see in shallow tropical areas, and then what we were seeing on our screens delivered in real time by the cameras was simply fantastic pictures of these extensive, delicate, colorful and very rich coral reef systems, "said Williams.
Research teams also saw images of the long-lasting damage inflicted on the ocean floor by fishermen's teams. Trawling was banned in the 1990s, but much of the region's coral still has to recover fully.
Experts say science knows more about the surface of the moon than about the deep sea. Despite their research in southern Tasmania, they still do not understand why bright corals can survive in a totally dark world, well below the surface of the ocean.