Who would have thought that an enormous underwater forest would be hiding in the seabed? That’s what a team of researchers discovered after strapping cameras and tracking devices to tiger sharks.
The sharks guided the scientists to 35,000 square miles of a seagrass forest, making it the world’s largest one at the moment. The discovery was made in the Caribbean seabed, according to the research paper published via Nature Communications.
Seagrass is part of the diet of several marine animals, and it’s well known that it contains plentiful carbon quantities. It is essential in studies related to the battle against climate change. Knowledge about the location of seagrass can help us know the effects of this phenomenon on marine fauna and flora.
Oliver Shipley, a senior research scientist at marine science non-profit organization “Beneath the Waves” and co-author of the research, told to The Guardian that seagrass and other ecosystems are perhaps “one of the best allies and assets that we have in terms of naturally trying to mitigate the effects of climate change.”
Although we have gotten to know more about seagrass throughout the years, it’s still tricky to know the area they cover since it’s complicated to observe them using aerial or satellite-based photography.
This time, instead of searching for human divers, the team decided to strap cameras and trackers to tiger sharks instead. Thanks to this decision, the researchers were able to make such an important discovery.
Scientists are eager to use the same tactics in diverse mammal species to discover the unseen areas of our ocean.
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