‘Wonderland’ Of Life Discovered On Deep Sea Mountains Off B.C. Coast·
Imagine floating down from above a mountain peak as high as the Rockies and passing by rugged slopes carpeted in ancient forests that are bursting with animal life.
Now, imagine that instead of flying through the air, you’re slowly sinking underwater.
That peak is a previously undiscovered extinct volcano deep in the Pacific Ocean off B.C.’s Central Coast. Instead of trees, that ancient forest is made up of red tree corals, and the animals may include numerous species that, before now, have never been seen by humans.
This surreal experience was Robert Rangeley’s life for 16 days earlier this month. As science director for the non-profit Oceana Canada, Rangeley was part of a team of researchers who watched from a video feed as two remotely operated unmanned vehicles mapped and explored seamounts — active or dormant volcanoes that rise from the ocean floor — thousands of metres below the ocean’s surface.
Photo: David Nieto/Unsplash
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