A team of researchers led an expedition in the Mariana Trench, the deepest part of the world, located in the Pacific Ocean.
Scientists are studying the life forms which can be found in Sirena Deep and Challenger Deep, which are the deepest places in the Mariana Trench and both have depths of approximately seven miles.
The team was led by Douglas Bartlett from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Bartlett and his team boarded the ship Falkor, a research vessel made available by the Schmidt Ocean Institute. Scientists described the Mariana Trench, which expands over hundreds of miles within the Pacific, similar to undersea islands full of life forms.
Bartlett said that only recently experts were able to observe life forms at depths such as those in the Mariana Trench, how diverse are they and how they live.
It is known that at such depths it’s very cold and very dark, thus not many things can live and survive in such a hostile environment. The pressure at that depth is about 16.000 pounds per square inch, which has been associated with the pressure on one of Jupiter’s moon, Europa, according to Bartlett.
Scientists used probes equipped with cameras, traps with bait that would attract animals living at those depths, and water samples. The probes dropped were constructed to return to the surface on command and each one was about the size of a refrigerator.
Bartlett said that they used chicken as bait for the scavengers living in the Mariana Trench. Normally these scavengers feed on the remains of sea creatures that drift down in the ocean. The team discovered crawlers called amphipods which are very much like shrimps. They also cut one open and discovered only organs, guts and tiny muscles.
The probes which the research team launched in the Mariana Trench are also gathering mud, microorganisms and seawater. It is known that two tectonic plates of the Earth’s mantle meet in this area and experts think that some life forms in the trench may gather energy from chemicals and substances that are released through the ocean floor.
Scientists have analyzed the very first audio recording from the bottom of the trench with the help of those probes they sent down there. They say it is quiet in general but they also thing they might have picked up the rumble of an earthquake that occurred in the distance.
David Barclay said that one of the many reasons of this expedition is to detect biological noise from life forms that eat the bait from the traps. The expedition will last one week, which should give them enough time to acquire the sounds they desire.
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