Mysterious Sea-Floor Activity

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Thousands of red crabs swarmed the ocean floor off the coast of Panama. By JESUS PINEDA, CHIEF SCIENTIST AT WOODS HOLE OCEANOGRAPHIC INSTITUTION on Publish Date April 14, 2016. Photo by Jesus G. Pineda/Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

Watch the video above as an introduction to a fascinating story from the Science section of the New York Times:

Uncovering a Deep-Sea Swarm of Zombie Crabs

The team stumbled upon the horror movie moment last April while exploring the aptly named Hannibal Bank Seamount, an underwater mountain home to a plethora of sea life.

At first they examined sea urchins, sponges and black coral from their submarine. But as they descended deeper into the darkness they noticed a thick layer of dirt and silt swirling along the seafloor.

They decided to investigate the disturbance.

“You’re a little bit afraid because you’re going into the cloud of sediments,” said Jesús G. Pineda, a marine ecologist from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts, and the lead researcher aboard the submarine. “There was some mystery. You have no idea what’s going to happen.”

A swarm of crabs found off the Pacific coast of Panama. Jesus G. Pineda/Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

A swarm of crabs found off the Pacific coast of Panama. Jesus G. Pineda/Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

As they dove some 1,200 feet deep, the submarine illuminated the culprit: a swarm of red crabs scuttling across the seafloor…

Read the whole article here.

 

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