SOI with an expedition in Chile

Schmidt Ocean Institute (SOI) is a non-profit founded in 2009 by Eric Schmidt and Wendy Schmidt, aimed at advancing innovative oceanographic research through technological progress, research collaboration, education, and open sharing of information. The Institute supports oceanographic studies by providing advanced operational, technological, and informational support to pioneering scientific and technological projects at sea. SOI operates the research vessel R/V Falkor, which serves scientists from around the world in conducting advanced marine research. The Schmidt Ocean Institute aims to expand the boundaries of our knowledge of the oceans, which is crucial for understanding and protecting global marine ecosystems.

The latest expedition conducted by the Schmidt Ocean Institute aboard the research vessel R/V Falkor yielded spectacular discoveries in the ocean depths along the Nazca and Salas y Gómez ridges, stretching from the coast of Chile to Rapa Nui. During the research, aimed at deeper understanding and protection of marine ecosystems, scientists identified over 100 new marine species. These remarkable findings highlight the richness and diversity of life still existing in the unexplored depths of our planet.

Scientists identified several previously unknown species adapted to life in extreme deep-sea conditions. Among them were unique crustaceans from the amphipod group, which exhibit astonishing adaptations to darkness and high pressure. New species of sponges and corals were also discovered, which seem to thrive in reduced temperatures and limited light access.

During the expedition, the team also encountered previously unmapped underwater mountains, which turned out to be hotspots of biodiversity. These underwater structures, which rise thousands of meters above the ocean floor, are home to many species that are found nowhere else on Earth. These discoveries are not only fascinating but also immensely important from a scientific perspective, as they can help understand how organisms adapt to extreme conditions.

In addition to documenting new species, the expedition also brought new information about the distribution of nutrients and the dynamics of deep waters, which are crucial for understanding the ecological processes occurring in deep waters. These data will be crucial for future research on climate changes and its impact on marine ecosystems.

The significance of these discoveries is enormous not only for the scientific community but also for marine conservation policy. They emphasize the need to create new Marine Protected Areas (MPA) to secure these unique ecosystems from the increasing impact of human activities, such as deep-sea fishing and the exploitation of marine mineral resources.

The publication of these research results appeared in prestigious scientific journals, such as “Deep-Sea Research Part I” and “Marine Biodiversity”, which attest to their international significance and impact on further research. The results not only enrich our knowledge of deep-sea ecosystems but also serve as a reminder of the incredible complexity of life on our planet and the need to protect it for future generations.

About the author

Picture of Grzegorz Bubak

Grzegorz Bubak

My fascination with marine aquariums began over two decades ago when I stumbled upon an article about this topic in a magazine. Since then, the underwater world has become my obsession and passion, shaping my everyday life. I started my adventure with marine aquariums with soft corals, which were my first step into this fascinating world. Over time, captivated by the diversity and beauty of SPS corals, I decided to focus on their cultivation, which continues to fill me with constant wonder.

Thanks to my experience and passion for marine aquariums, I am ready to share my knowledge and expertise with other enthusiasts in this field. I am happy to be part of the Reef Pedia community, which serves as an invaluable source of information for all marine aquarium lovers.