What is it? More than 100 unknown marine creatures are found deep in the ocean off the coast of Australia
- Scientists have discovered over 100 unidentified deep-sea species
- Scientists at CSIRO conducted the submarine survey south of Tasmania
- The undersea cluster was chosen for its deep sea corals and diversified marine life
- New technologies have enabled scientists to collect many new aquatic species
- The research aims to help people appreciate and protect Australian marine parks
Mark Brook For Daily Mail Australia
Scientists conducting in-depth research off the coast of Australia have discovered more than 100 unidentified species living in underwater mountains.
The researchers made a remarkable discovery during a four-week voyage south of Tasmania aboard the research vessel Investigator.
Scientists and park managers have chosen the unusual cluster of underwater mountains for their world-renowned deep sea corals and diversified marine life.
Among the most bizarre and coral underwater creatures to be collected by researchers was a rock crab (photo)
Scientists conducting a deep-sea research off the coast of Australia have discovered more than 100 anonymous species living in underwater mountains
One of the most intriguing underwater specimens collected by researchers was a blob fish
Among the most bizarre underwater creatures and corals to be collected by researchers were a long-legged lobster, a deformed crab, and a bubblefish.
Other fascinating delights found near the seabed included bioluminescent squids, ghost sharks, deep-sea sharks, rays, orange snails, oreos, and basket eels.
Parks Australia's Section Chief of Marine Protected Areas Jason Mundy said on Wednesday that trips like these are an important part of marine conservation.
"The images from this trip remind us that extraordinary and diverse environments are protecting these special places," Mundy said.
During the four-week period, the ship crossed many underwater hills in and around the Huon and Tasman Fracture marine parks, which house untouched and previously fished coral reefs.
Researchers have been able to capture never-before-seen images of rocky habitats between seamounts and their residents using new technologies.
The researchers also collected a specimen of Gorgonocephalidae brittlestar (photo)
One of the newly acquired specimens on the deep sea voyage was this crab hat maker
Uroptychus litosus (photo) is a genus of squidish lobsters of the Chirostylidae family
They also used small nets to collect specimens for identification, and many new species were discovered in the process.
There have even been instances of beneficial relationships between specimens such as brittlestars wrapped around corals and sea worms tunneling within corals.
Live images captured from depth camera systems also revealed a diversity of colorful coral reefs as well as hundreds of animals nestled among them.
An example of a beneficial relationship between an Eunicidae polycahaete worm and a Solenosmilia coral
Another example of a beneficial relationship is this small coral that began to sprout from a mollusk shell.
A Gorgonocephalidae is a fragile star that crawls across the seabed using its flexible arms for locomotion.
CSIRO chief scientist Alan Williams said the trip provided a wealth of data on the animals that live on the seamounts and how their communities change in depth.
According to Williams, in conducting the research, marine scientists now have a much broader view of what lives in habitats adjacent to seamounts.
Our detailed sampling was on seamounts that were previously affected by bottom fishing, but have been protected for over 20 years.
"Although we have seen no evidence that coral communities are recovering, there are signs that some individual species of coral, feathers and sea urchins have recovered," he said.