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100 species discovered as scientists find new ocean zone

Published: May 8, 2018
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The diving and submersible team off the Bermuda coast  CREDIT: NEKTON

An ocean zone nobody knew existed, which is home to more than 100 new species, has been discovered by Oxford University.

The Rariphotic Zone, or rare light zone, extends from 226 feet (130m) to 984ft (300m) and joins five other areas which have distinct biological communities living and growing within them.

The new section, was discovered during a research mission to Bermuda organised by the British charity for ocean exploration Nekton, and led by marine research scientists from Oxford University.

As well as the new zone, more than 100 new species were discovered including tanaids – minute crustaceans - dozens of new algae species and black wire coral that stand up to two metres high.

The survey team spent hundreds of hours underwater, either scuba diving or using submersibles and remote operated vehicles which can reach depths of 6,500 feet (2,000m).

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