A fascinating soft coral garden was discovered by a team of researchers deep in the sea off western Greenland. In near total darkness, these corals grow and thrive more than 500 meters below the surface, a marine area where there is 50 times greater pressure than there is at sea level.
The researchers discovered a delicate but also diverse habitat that presents various species of corals and hydrozoans as well as sponges, anemones and starfish, etc. The research findings were presented in a study that appeared in Frontiers in Marine Science. It is the first habitat of this genus to have been discovered and identified at these depths. The discovery came about thanks to the work of a team of scientists from University College London, the Zoological Society of London and the Greenland Institute of Natural Resources.
According to some guidelines issued a few years ago by the United Nations, this marine area could be recognized as a "vulnerable marine ecosystem", and therefore could be a protected marine area in the future. The area, which exceeds 486 square km, would be particularly significant according to the researchers especially because at these depths the sea is a very poorly known place (it is often said that we know more about the surface of the Moon or Mars than the sea depths on the Land).