In May, a team of marine researchers from Scotland arranged to scuba dive in the waters surrounding Tristan da Cunha, a remote island in the middle of the South Atlantic Ocean to look for rare sea life. Tristan da Cunha is a British territory located about 1,740 miles west of Cape Town, South Africa. Its remoteness leaves it fairly undisturbed by the outside world.
Among the most remarkable creatures found on this trip were the larvae of rock lobsters (Jasus tristani) which at larvae stage looks like living translucent leaves with eye stalks. Another notable find was a small fish called a dragonet, which has only been recorded once off the island in shallower waters. The team also found hermit crabs, feather stars, starfish and sea cucumbers. It’s very likely that some of them will be new species because they are found nowhere else.
The researchers sailed on British Antarctic Survey vessel the James Clark Ross; the expedition was funded, in part, by the Pew Charitable Trusts.
photo credit: sue scott