Pacific Ocean Current Affairs

Scientists discover glow-in-the-dark shark in Pacific

Scientists have discovered new species of glow-in-the-dark shark living 1,000 feet below the Pacific Ocean off the coast of the northwestern Hawaiian islands.

It has been named Etmopterus lailae and belongs to lanternshark family. It has an unusually large nose, weighs a little less than a kilo and measures less than a foot. This unique features and characteristics make it different form other lanternsharks.

Key Facts

Etmopterus lailae has a strange head shape which is large and bulgy snout where its nostrils and olfactory organs are located. It dwells in a deep sea environment with almost no light so it has big sniffer to find food.

It has flank markings that go forward and backward on their bellies and a naked patch without scales on the underside of its snout. Like other lanternsharks, it is also bio-luminescent. Its flanks on the bottom of its belly glow in the dark. The markings on its belly and tail also are specific to it.

This species is understudied because of its size and the fact that it lives in very deep water. It is not easily visible or accessible like so many other sharks.

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Scientists claim discovery of Zealandia a submerged continent in Pacific Ocean

Geologists have claimed discovery of new geological continent named Zealandia submerged beneath the south-west Pacific Ocean.

Zealandia is around 4.5-million square km land mass and is 94% under water. Only its highest points — New Zealand and New Caledonia are visible. 

Key Facts
  • Zealandia is two-thirds the size of Australia and spreads out over 4.9-million-square kilometres of continental crust. It was once a part of Australia.
  • It is believed that it had broken off from Antarctica about 100 million years ago, and then from Australia about 80 million years ago as part of the breakup of super-continent Gondwanaland and sank beneath sea.
  • Sea-floor samples show that Zealandia consists of light continental crust and not the dark volcanic rocks that make up nearby underwater plateaus.

zealandia

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