Scientists Shocked by Previously Unknown Chain of Underwater Towers off the Coast of Tasmania

It’s hard to believe that something so massive has remained undetected for so long...

Scientists have recently revealed a lost world located deep beneath the ocean, off the coast of Tasmania.

It’s hard to believe that something so massive has remained undetected for so long, but our oceans are notoriously unexplored, which experts estimating that to date, we’ve only managed to explore around 5 % of Earth’s oceans.

Researchers participating in an expedition to map the area have come across a previously unknown chain of towers located beneath the ocean, some 250 miles east of Tasmania.

The mapped chain of volcanic seamounts. Image credit: CSIRO
The mapped chain of volcanic seamounts.
Image credit: CSIRO

The extensive range of volcanic seamounts–underwater mountains created by extinct ancient volcanos towers some 3 kilometers (1.9 miles) above the ocean floor. However, despite its supermassive height, it has never been detected since even its highest peak remains around 2 kilometers beneath the surface of the South Pacific.

“Our multibeam mapping has revealed in vibrant detail, for the first time, a chain of volcanic seamounts rising up from an abyssal plain about 5,000 meters (16,400 ft) deep,” explains marine geoscientist Tara Martin from Australia’s CSIRO.

Furthermore, scientists say that the massive underwater towers are ome to countless lifeforms.

“This is a very diverse landscape and will undoubtedly be a biological hotspot that supports a dazzling array of marine life, explained Dr. Martin.

“We estimated that at least 28 individual humpback whales visited us on one day, followed by a pod of 60-80 long-finned pilot whales the next,” Eric Woehler, a research scientist from BirdLife Tasmania who participated in the expedition, explained in a statement.

“We also saw large numbers of seabirds in the area including four species of albatross and four species of petrel. Clearly, these seamounts are a biological hotspot that supports life, both directly on them, as well as in the ocean above,” added Woehler.

The underwater world is composed of different forms and shapes, say experts, and the team is eager to find out more about this previously unknown volcanic chain.

“The seamounts vary in size and shape, with some having sharp peaks while others have wide flat plateaus, dotted with small conical hills that would have been formed by ancient volcanic activity.”
“Having detailed maps of such areas is important to help us better manage and protect these unique marine environments, and provides a stepping stone for future research,” added Dr. Martin.
The massive towers may be what was left over after Australia and Antarctica broke off, millions of years ago.
“We’re pretty sure that these seamounts were related to the break up of Australia and Antarctica. It was about 30 million years ago,” Martin explained to ABC News.
“As Australia and Antarctica and Tasmania all broke up, a big hotspot came in under the earth’s crust, made these volcanoes, and then helped the Earth’s crust break so that all of those areas could start to drift apart.”

Scientists uncover volcanic lost world off the Tasmanian coast
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