An active ancient volcano covered in a million giant eggs discovered on the ocean floor
At the bottom of the Pacific Ocean near Canada, scientists investigated an ancient underwater volcano and discovered that it was still active. In addition, it was literally covered with thousands of giant eggs.
This is stated in the study, which is reported by LiveScience. Prior to the expedition, it was believed that the volcano had long been subsided and the waters around it froze.
However, as it turned out, the underwater volcano, which rises above the seafloor at 1,100 meters, beats warm water and is covered with deep-sea corals.
Scientists found that the hot and mineral-rich liquid maintains the temperature of the surrounding waters, providing ideal conditions for some marine creatures to survive in the deep sea. Pacific For example, Pacific white stingray (Bathyraja spinosissima) was found to be laying eggs on the top of the volcano, which is nearly 1.5 kilometers deep.
"It's a really special place on top of a really special place," said Sherice Du Pré, a deep-sea marine biologist with Fisheries and Oceans Canada and the expedition's principal investigator.
She said the previous Pacific white stingray nursery was found in the Galapagos Islands, but "it had about a dozen or two dozen eggs."
Whereas on top of the volcano, Du Pré estimates there could be as many as a million eggs.
"I would estimate that there were are 100,000 eggs? A million?" Du Pré said, noting that the eggs were large, about 50 centimeters across.
The researchers were also the first in history to videotape a Pacific white stingray laying eggs.
Pacific white rays are relatives of sharks and common stingrays. They are one of the deepest stingray species, living at depths of 800 to 2,900 meters off the west coast of North and Central America. Adult females can grow up to 2 meters long and lay rectangular eggs that are known as "mermaid purses" for their resemblance to small purses.
The researchers explain that the young take four years to develop and the warm volcanic water probably speeds up the egg-laying period. In addition, the top of the seamount is almost a coral garden, so it is a safe nursery.