Deep waters

Posted: 30 June 2006

  • 90% of the oceans are unexplored. Only some 0.0001% of the deep seafloor has been subject to biological investigations.

  • About 50% of animals collected from areas deeper than 3,000m are new species.

  • Cold-water coral reefs can be up to 8,500 years old, 35m high, 40km long, and 3km wide. They have been found so far off the coast of 41 countries from the poles to deep equatorial waters.

  • Communities living on hydrothermal vents and cold seeps obtain their energy from chemicals seeping from the Earth’s crust or ancient sediments. They are examples of life on Earth which does not depend directly on energy from the sun.