Mysteries of the Deep revealed off Tristan da Cunha

Scientists have discovered beautiful creatures living in deep water off Tristan da Cunha, on the first-ever expedition to explore beyond the range of scuba divers.

The expedition team included marine biologist Sue Scott, who has made eight trips to dive in the rough sea around Tristan.

The researchers lowered a camera into the water to photograph deep-sea life along the ocean bottom to a depth of 300 metres, as well as trawling to scoop up samples.

They had sailed to the island aboard the British Antarctic Survey vessel, the James Clark Ross.  

They found the larvae – looking like translucent leaves with eye stalks – that would later grow into the mature rock lobsters that provide the island’s main source of income.

The team also found hermit crabs, feather stars, starfish, sea slugs, and black corals that are used to make jewellery in other parts of the world.

Nets also yielded “gelatinous, blobby things that will need a fair amount of identifying,” according to Sue Scott. She said. “I have no idea how some of these live.”


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