Ocean Life Survey Reveals World of Deep-Sea Creatures

Deep-sea species found by Census of Marine Life - photo
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This heart-shaped jellyfish called a comb jelly was among thousands of tiny creatures captured in an expedition conducted in April to collect and catalog the world's deep-sea denizens.

The 20-day mission, sponsored by the international research group Census of Marine Life, brought 28 leading marine experts from 14 countries together in the Sargasso Sea, an area of the North Atlantic near the Bermuda Triangle.

The scientists used scuba divers and highly specialized nets and trawls to collect specimens from the ocean's deepest waters, 0.6 to 3 miles (1 to 5 kilometers) below the surface.

The researchers used a special onboard DNA sequencer to analyze more than 220 organisms, and at least a dozen new species were identified.

The research trip was funded by the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and organized by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

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Photograph by Larry Madin, courtesy UAF/NOAA/Census of Marine Life
 
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