This was in the DAM News today..I was just gobsmacked. This is just fascinating to me. You couldn't get me to even think about going down there or deeper than 4 feet, but man..it is wonderful..
There are 5,600 new species on top of the 230,000 known. researchers say they hope to add several thousand more by the end of the census in October 2010.
17,650 species living below 656 feet, the point where sunlight ceases.
5,722 living in the extreme ocean depths, waters deeper than 3,280.
170 new species that get their energy from chemicals spewing from ocean-bottom vents and seeps.
More than 2,000 scientists from 80 countries are working to catalog the oceans' species.
Researching the abyss has been costly and difficult because it involved deep-towed cameras, sonar and remotely operated vehicles that cost $50,000 a day to operate.
Once the census is complete, the plan is to publish three books: a popular survey of sea life, a second book with chapters for each working group and a third focusing on biodiversity.
Cain Burdeau (Associated Press)