Due to research conducted by scientists from Mexico and the United States, new hydrothermal vents and six possible new species of animals were discovered during a 33-day expedition off the coast of La Paz, Baja California Sur, on the Schmidt Ocean Institute’s research vessel Falkor.
Supported by a robot to explore the seafloor, impressive images were captured, including hydrothermal mirror pools, calcite needles and iridescent blue scale worms.
Maija awi received its name from the divine water serpent in the creation myth of the Kumiai people, as its form resembles a dragon. “Melsuu” means “blue” in the Kiliwa dialect of the Yuman people and was so named because of the large number of iridescent blue worms found among the vents.
Six or more possible new species were found during this expedition, including polychaetes, arrow worms, crustaceans, mollusks and nematodes, along with ten known species not previously encountered in the Pescadero basin.
“Between the 2018 and 2021 Gulf of California expeditions, we have covered an unprecedented area of nearly 20,000 square kilometers, which is about 1/8 of the total area of the Gulf of California,” said co-principal investigator Ronald Spelz.
With information from UnoTV