Reading the news about how the oceans have turned into “urns” for plastic garbage, you can think that humanity has harmed every corner of planet Earth. However, recently, employees of the National Geographical Society found a place to which human hands still have not reached. We are talking about an underwater forest of brown algae, located on the outskirts of South America, near the Tierra del Fuego archipelago. Scientists studied this place back in 1973 and then among the densely growing algae lived sea urchins, stars and many different fish. Diving into the underwater forest after almost 50 years, divers found that the local inhabitants still feel great today. But how did algae and aquatic inhabitants survive during a time when the world literally drowns in piles of plastic garbage?
Not far from the Fire Land Islands group there is an underwater forest untouched by humans
What are the underwater forests?
The well-preserved forest of brown algae was described in the scientific journal PLOS One. Such clusters of algae are currently on the verge of extinction due to the impact of global warming, so the forest found in a beautiful state can be considered a real miracle. Algae forests are usually located near the coast of the sea, at a depth of 10-25 meters. Usually, algae from the orders Laminariales, Macrocystis and Nereocystis grow in them, the length of which can reach 60 meters with a weight of up to 150 kilograms. All this vegetation attracts many marine animals, so algae forests are considered a favorite place for sea urchins, stars, crabs, mollusks and tubular worms.
Underwater forests are considered a favorite habitat for sea urchins and stars
Algae forests are underwater territories with a high density of algae at a depth of 10-25 meters.
Found a place untouched by man
According to scientists, the underwater forest remained intact even after half a century because it is very distant from people. In addition, it is surrounded by a troubled sea, which in theory can protect the place from plastic garbage and other troubles. Thanks to these two factors, not only algae remained intact and unharmed, but also fish and other marine inhabitants living among them. Perhaps a special location also reduced the harm from global warming, but more precisely, scientists will learn about this only in the following scientific papers.
The length of algae in underwater forests can reach 60 meters
How to preserve nature?
With the discovery of an intact algal forest, scientists were able to see with their own eyes how well marine dwellers and algae would live if mankind did not pollute the environment. In further research, researchers want to find out what other factors helped algae and animals survive in such a difficult time. New knowledge will help environmentalists protect areas of our planet that are particularly affected by human impact.