A volcanic vent and new marine species have been discovered 1, 000 miles west of the coast of Ireland by Irish and British scientists.
Marine Minister Simon Coveney is due to announce in detail the findings in the mineral-rich ecosystem but the scientists along with National Geographic believe that they have discovered three never before identified organisms.
The first signs of this system on the mid-Atlantic ridge were found three years ago by British scientists with the National Oceanography Centre at Southampton University.
The volcanic vent system is located in International waters, past the Irish Exclusive Economic zone. The EZZ is the sea zone over which a country has rights over marine resources and exploration and research in the area.
These vents are cracks in the earth’s surface, channeling massive volumes of sea water enriched with minerals from volcanic sources.
Other areas that have discovered such vents have been known to be the home to hundreds of new species. Thirty years ago, the first of these were found in the Pacific Ocean and 500 new species have been recorded in the area since. The minerals found in these areas serve as fuel to the creatures, making them a food chain that can exist without sunlight.
Scientists from NUI Galway, University College Cork, Southampton University and the Geological Survey of Ireland, set sail last month and say the voyage on the Celtic Explorer, the State research ship, was considered to be one of the most technically challenging expeditions ever done by it.
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