New Discoveries in Australia’s Marine Park: A Report on the Cocos Island Expedition

February 11, 2023
1 min read

Marine scientists’ recent excavation reveals fascinating discoveries on Cocos island. According to reports from the 13th to the 17th of October 2022, a big high-tech-looking ship was sighted around Cocos. The CSIRO research vessel (RV) Investigator was in charge of this. Marine scientists from all over Australia were on board a 35-day cruise to examine the marine environment near the Cocos (Keeling) Islands. The scientists and technicians on board studied the seafloor  and surveyed the sea life that dwells at such vast depths in the Indian Ocean. 

The RV Investigator is part of the Marine National Facility run by the CSIRO, Australia’s  national science organization. It’s 94 meters long and nine floors tall. The large white dome  above the bridge monitors atmospheric conditions, while the smaller ones are used for  internet and radio communications. The boat’s A-frame is used to lower cameras and other  research equipment into the water. There were 52 crew, technicians, and scientists from  across the country on board. 

This pioneering research expedition in Australia’s newest marine park unearthed rare deep-sea discoveries. 

Researchers stated that they have uncovered “massive flat-topped ancient sea mountains” produced by sand avalanches that sank down onto the ocean floor. 

Investigator, Australia’s national science agency, also conducted surveys of formerly  unknown deep water species in Indian Ocean territories. 

According to Museums Victoria, Australia’s largest public museum organization and research agency, the underwater video revealed a variety of marine life, including a hitherto unknown blind eel, deep-sea batfishes, Pancake sea urchins, and pumice stones from the 1883 Krakatoa eruption in Indonesia. 

“We have discovered an amazing number of potentially new species living in this remote marine park,” the institute’s chief scientist Dr. Tim O’Hara stated of the expedition. “We are proud that our maps, data, and images will be used by Parks Australia’s to manage the new marine park into the future.” 

Furthermore, the researchers created three-dimensional photos of the mountain beneath the Islands, which had never been detailed mapped previously. 

“We have beamed these new 3D maps and underwater video images directly from the vessel to the people of Cocos (Keeling) Islands, who have been super excited to see their seascape in all its grandeur,” O’Hara further stated. 

The discovery comes just months after the Australian government declared two marine parks in the country’s Indian Ocean territories. 

“This research voyage has led to many important discoveries of marine life and deep ocean terrain, and we are very proud of this work,” Museums Victoria CEO Lynley Crosswell stated.

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