Scientists exploring a deep ocean basin in search of species isolated
for millions of years found marine life believed to be previously
undiscovered, including a tentacled orange worm and an unusual black
jellyfish.The Scientists has collected about 100 different specimens in a search in the Celebes Sea south of the Philippines.Madin, of the Massachusetts-based Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, said the sea is at the heart of the "coral triangle" bordered by the Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia — a region recognized by scientists as having a high degree of biological diversity.The expedition was made up of more than two dozen scientists and a
group from National Geographic, including Emory Kristof, the underwater
photographer who was part of the team that found the wreckage of the
Titanic in 1985.
The group returned to Manila
on Tuesday after spending about two weeks in the Celebes Sea off
Tawi-Tawi, the Philippines southernmost provincial archipelago nearly
700 miles south of Manila.The most striking creature found was a spiny orange-colored worm
that had 10 tentacles like a squid, Madin said. "We don''t know what it
is ... it might be something new," he said.
He said it would take "a few more weeks" of research to determine
whether the species are newly discovered. He expects to release a
report by early next month.