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Rare deep-sea saline pools discovered in the Red Sea - video

Newly discovered deep-sea salt pools offer clues to extraterrestrial life and may contain potential cancer-fighting compounds. A research team from the University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine, Atmospheric, and Earth Science has made its discovery in the Gulf of Aqaba, which is an extension of the Red Sea. The scientists discovered rare saline pools
Published: August 1, 2022 - 09:00
Updated: July 23, 2023 - 01:07
Rare deep-sea saline pools discovered in the Red Sea – video

Newly discovered deep-sea salt pools offer clues to extraterrestrial life and may contain potential cancer-fighting compounds.

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A research team from the University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine, Atmospheric, and Earth Science has made its discovery in the Gulf of Aqaba, which is an extension of the Red Sea. The scientists discovered rare saline pools that contain clues about how the world’s oceans formed millions of years ago. They may thus shed some light on the subject, What the origins of life on Earth looked like and… beyond.

In collaboration with OceanX, Sam Purkis, professor and chairman of UM’s marine science department, and his team made their discovery at a depth of more than 1,700 meters. They used a remotely operated underwater vehicle (ROV) to do so. They conducted their research from aboard the OceanXplorer research vessel. This is a highly specialized and well-equipped vessel that allows them to explore the most inaccessible places on Earth.

Until we know the limits of life on Earth, it will be difficult to determine whether there is life on other planets. Our discovery of a rich community of microbes that survive in extreme environments can help trace the limits of life on Earth. It can also be applied to the search for life elsewhere in the solar system and beyond Purkis said.

Deep salt pools

Deep saline pools are one of the most challenging environments on Earth. However, despite their high salinity and complete lack of oxygen, they are teeming with life. Interestingly, bioactive molecules with potential anti-cancer properties were previously isolated by scientists from microbes in salt pools in the Red Sea.

We were very lucky. The discovery came in the last five minutes of the ten-hour ROV dive we were able to devote to the project Purkis said.

Scientists have discovered deep-sea saline pools close to the coastline. These salty, oxygen-deprived places preserve information about tsunamis, flash floods and earthquakes in the Gulf of Aqaba that occurred thousands of years ago. In this area of the Gulf, there are many faults and cracks in the seafloor associated with the tectonics of the region.


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About author

Marcin Pawełczyk
Marcin’s journey with diving has been an adventure. Starting as a recreational diver, he soon found himself drawn to the fascinating stories and mysteries of Baltic wrecks. After gaining experience, Marcin decided to go beyond just leisurely exploration and took his training up a notch by completing the TMX course, allowing him to explore even deeper and uncover the secrets of inaccessible places. His next challenge has been cave diving, where he is honing his skills to become a certified diver. Not content to simply take in the breathtaking beauty of underwater life, Marcin has also embraced underwater photography since 2018, capturing stunning shots that bring these worlds alive for those who are unable to experience them first-hand. Marcin’s passion for the underwater has taken him far and is sure to continue doing so as he dives into new depths and captures breathtaking images.
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