There are many secrets that are hidden in the sea, and a beautiful one has been uncovered by a team of researchers who have found a remarkable deep-sea coral garden near the coast of Greenland. This garden is located at a depth of 1,600 feet (or approximately 488 meters) below the sea level.
At such depths, the pressure is up to 50% times stronger than at surface level. Researchers used a technological rig called benthic sled to perform the search. A benthic sled includes a GoPro camera for capturing images, lights and laser pointers, high-resistance waterproof cases, and a solid steel frame.
With the help of a powerful crane arm, the benthic sled was lowered into the water and took images from 18 locations. When the scientists explored the footage, they observed a fascinating garden filled with soft corals, sponges anemones, snails, and more.
It is worth noting that the ecosystem is quite vast, as it covers a surface of approximately 190 square miles. Since the light of the sun cannot reach the bottom of the sea, the researchers needed powerful lights to be able to capture the desired images. More than 1,200 photos were recorded, and more than 44,000 organisms have been spotted.
Diving on a budget
According to one of the scientists who contributed to the project, the benthic slade was crafted on a budget of $5000, which is considerably lower in comparison to most sleds with a similar purpose. A professional model sold by popular companies would be accompanied by a generous price tag, which can go beyond six numbers in some cases.
The deep-sea remains one of the most elusive environments present on our planet as only 20% of the seafloor has been mapped, with the material costs being a major roadblock. By using DIY solutions, researchers can explore the deep sea in a more affordable manner.