The majority of the world underwater is still unexplored, unmapped, and unobserved, so much of the ocean remains a mystery.
Sir David Attenborough says:
“The oceans cover 70% of the surface of our planet, and yet they are still the least explored. Hidden beneath the waves, there are creatures beyond our imagination.”
Therefore, scientists keep surprising us with their discoveries of new forms of life and wonders they run into.
To boost our knowledge of the ocean realm and unlock its numerous secrets, they use the latest technologies to help them investigate the physical, biological, geological, chemical, and archaeological aspects of the ocean.
In 2015, when researchers with the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) were searching for nursery grounds of larval lobsters, they spotted an extinct volcanic range teeming with different, scary-looking fish.
CSIRO News wrote:
“We’ve found a cluster of ancient hotheads just east of the Sydney CBD – forgotten relics of an era long passed. And no, it’s not the clientele at Bondi Icebergs on a Sunday afternoon.
Our new ocean explorer, RV Investigator, has discovered four extinct volcanoes 200 kilometers off the coast of Sydney, hidden under almost five kilometers of ocean. “
One of the species they discovered was a small, black, weird-looking, scaleless creature with fangs.
Yet, they also came across the nightmarish chauliodontidae and the eel-like Idiacanthidae.
They found eel-like Idiacanthidae in the underwater volcanic range.
They also discovered Chauliodontidae or viperfish
Their discovery opposes previous studies that claim that when swept out to sea, larvae are no longer existing. The volcanic range has created eddies for these fish to survive.
Professor Iain Suthers, the chief scientist for the voyage and marine biologist, stated:
“We had thought fish only developed in coastal estuaries, and that once larvae were swept out to sea, that was the end of them. But in fact, these eddies are nursery grounds for commercial fisheries along the east coast of Australia. ”
The extinct volcanic range has four calderas over 50 million years old and was spotted by the RV Investigator, an Australian vessel for a wide range of marine research.
According to the CSIRO website:
“The ship is constantly mapping the seafloor as it travels, opening up a previously undiscovered and unknown world. Our previous research vessel could only map to 3000 meters, missing important geological features like the calderas. Investigator can map the ocean to any depth.”
Richard Arculus of the Australian National University explained:
“This is the first time these volcanoes have been seen. It proves yet again that we know more about the topography of Mars than we do the sea bed in our own backyard.”
It is believed that the volcanoes are a result of the numerous shifts in geological plates that led to the split between Australia and New Zealand.