Exploring to Expand

marine.jpgScience has not looked back ever since the industrial revolution shook Britain in the 18th Century. With high-scale developments, discoveries and inventions in every field, technology has progressed almost unimaginably. Considering the fact that we are aware that origins trace back to the unicellular organisms, the desire to research about them arose quite late. However, this can be explained in view of the large resources that such expeditions require. Nonetheless, since the 20th Century, marine biology has been a subject of great interest and scientists are in a constant search to find more of what still remains a largely unexplored arena.

Recently, several prominent science journals reported that marine scientists working in the Celebes sea, south of Philippines, discovered exotic species of marine life which have never been found before. The scientists working in the team believe that these exotic species had some how escaped the notice of all marine researchers till date. They believe that these species were isolated for millions of years.

Among the unusual specimens of marine life were a tentacled orange worm and a very rare black jellyfish. The investigation was carried on in the deepest part of the Celebes sea which is around 16,500 ft. However, the scientists were able to reach till 9, 100 ft with the help of a sophisticated underwater camera. The Project Leader of the team, Dr. Larry Madin has said they had collected more than 100 specimens of rare aquatic life. He also emphasized on how the region, where they researched, is a part of a ‘coral triangle’ bordered by Malaysia, Philippines and Indonesia and is recognized for its high biological diversity.

Discoveries in marine life are usually perceived to be very important because marine life was one of the earliest forms of life on the planet. Other forms of life, including human beings, are indirectly a progression of sorts from this basic cellular form. It is understood that there is an intrinsic relationship between marine organisms and other organisms. The discovery of such ancient species will lead to research on their relationships with the rest of the aquatic system as well as other eco-systems. In fact, it is believed that scientists today know more about the moon than the unexplored portions of the deep sea. Therefore, it is not surprising why this discovery is being received with much enthusiasm.

As a matter of fact, currently there is a huge team of scientists across the world working on a project dealing with Census of Marine Life. They are trying to consolidate their findings before the year 2010. One of the long-term aims of this project, as well as of several other similar projects, is to determine the adverse effects of issues like global warming, climate change and oil spill on marine life. Scientists believe that this will give an indication of how things will shape up for human beings in future. Marine life conservation is an integral part of sustainable development.

Perhaps, this new discovery will greatly fuel the ongoing research on marine life. Dr. Madin describes it as “going back to the roots”. Because human beings have risen from that primitive form, we now re-look at it in the face of so many modern issues. And it is not just global warming. The effect of the large-scale, multi-level environmental degradation on the overall ecosystem has to be measured and marine biologists believe that the aquatic life is a suitable yardstick for such a purpose. These new discoveries of the marine life are also supposed to help in the testing and finding of latest drugs and medicines. If we progress with every find, it is vital that marine life research is given more time and importance across the world.

Ipshita Ghosh

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