Saturday, August 7, 2004

The old man and the really deep sea

Mysteries of the Ocean Deepen (Wired News - Stephen Leahy - 6 Aug 04)

Marine scientists conducting the first comprehensive deep-sea probes of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge stepped ashore in Bergen, Norway, this week, excited by their discovery of several suspected new species and a baffling mystery creature.

Brightly colored, about a foot long with a well-defined forepaw and tail, it looks like no known sea creature, said Olav Rune Godoe of the Institute of Marine Research in Bergen. The unknown animal was found crawling around the bottom at a depth of 6,500 feet.

Efforts to bring it to the surface failed, making it impossible to know what exactly scientists saw and photographed. ...

Yet another new deep-sea mystery uncovered during the expedition: perfectly straight, evenly spaced lines of 2-inch-wide holes "stitched" into the bottom of the seabed at 6,000 feet. The holes may be burrows of some crab or lobster, but the wonder is how any creature could make such straight lines. "This has never been seen before," said Godoe.

Deep sea crop circles.

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