Thirteen thousand kilometers in thirty-five days were covered by the research expedition on board the ship RV Investigator. She set off at the end of September to an area two and a half thousand kilometers from the west coast of Australia.
Oceanologists were hoping to make some interesting discoveries, because the place they chose is extremely interesting. “We know that the area is covered by massive seamounts that formed during the age of the dinosaurs, and we know that the region sits at a critical interface between the Pacific and Indian oceans,” said Tim O’Hara, chief curator of marine invertebrates at Museums Victoria. we are looking forward to discovering new species of life here, which so far remained hidden under the surface in this unexplored area,” he declared before setting sail.
Several teams of experts aboard the ship used sonar to map the sea floor, revealing ancient seamounts, volcanic cones, canyons and ridges. The extinct volcanoes that form the floor were formed between 140 and 50 million years ago.
The base of the region is a massive underwater mountain range that rises almost five thousand meters from the bottom. There, scientists carefully lowered trawls to a depth of between sixty and five and a half thousand meters. And they found living treasures in them.
O’Hara estimates that up to a third of the species found may be new to science. Among them, for example, is an apparently new species of warbler with a sticky translucent skin. It is characterized by very small eyes. “If you look at the picture, you’ll see that they’re actually just little gold indentations in the skin. They have loose, flaccid, gelatinous skin and are incredibly rare,” Dianne Bray told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.