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Why These 400 New Ocean Species Could Be in Grave Danger

These amazing animals were just discovered and could now be at risk.


Humans may have been exploring the seas for hundreds of years already, but they've not even come close to learning all its secrets.

Case in point: Four hundred and one new species were just found in Australian waters, according to Yahoo7 News. The six-year study was the first of its kind to go that deep into Australia's seas, covering between 650 feet and 3 miles down. And it uncovered a ton of new information.

Not only were 401 new species discovered, but Yahoo7 reported that a whopping 66,721 deep-sea invertebrates were also recorded in total.

The animals found included corals, worms, squid, octopuses, crustaceans and more.

Lead study author Dr. Hugh Macintosh told Australia's ABC News that it's not unusual to find those types of animals, but that the deep sea always kicks things up a notch.

"A lot of the stuff we found is typical for the deep sea, but deep-sea species are really weird — there are giant sea spiders that roam the landscape [and] big sea cucumbers that are the consistency of Jell-O," he said.

Sadly all of these cool creatures could soon be in danger, because oil mining is planned for the very same stretch of water.

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According to Xinhua, the oil company pledged it wouldn't drill unless it knew it could do so safely. And Yahoo7 reported that it's drafting up an environmental impact plan for 2019.

But it sure seems risky to drill in an area that just revealed all its splendor to scientists.

Macintosh noted to ABC that finding so many new species is not even unique to Australia. Because so little is still known about the deep sea, nearly every study of that part of the water column turns up dozens if not hundreds of new animals.

That's why studies like these are necessary. Without them, people would be planning for drilling completely blind.

And that's a recipe for disaster.

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