There’s an interesting discovery by oceanographers a bizarre ecosystems luxuriant with clams, mussels and big tube worms in the deep seabed where it was once thought an underwater lifeless desert, a dark abyss deprived of sunlight.
The deep seabed creatures, dependent on microbes that thrived in hot mineral rich coming from volcanic cracks, emitting chemicals which serves as food for whole chains of life despite the absence of sunlight.
Scientists also discovered that heat was not necessary. In exploring the depths of Gulf of Mexico, they discovered sunless habitats powered by a new nourishment. The microbes that founded the food chain lived not on hot minerals but on cold petrochemicals coming from the temperate seabed.
It has been estimated that one hundred cold dark communities sites were roughly identified in the Gulf of Mexico alone, excluding the gulf’s deep unexplored waters. With the unfortunate accident of the largest oil spill that began to pollute the gulf since April 20 of this year, there’s an ongoing debate among scientists of how this oil pouring into the gulf means to the seabed creatures that live from deep dark habitats.
Researchers have lodged their strong concern about the threat to the dark deep communities. They consider that the oil spill in a concentrated increase of petrochemical across the gulf, resulting to the drop of oxygen and potential toxicity of oil dispersant could outweigh of any possible benefits, lest to say that it may damage and destroy the dark ecosystem.
“There’s lot of uncertainties,” said Charles Fisher, a professor of biology at Pennsylvania State University, who is leading a federal study of the dark habitats and who observe also the nearby communities. “Our best hope is that the impact is neutral or a minor problem.” Fisher added.