I thought about the Mahdi
On a six-week expedition from December 2015 to January 2016, a crew led by the Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology sailed aboard the German research vessel FS Sonne on a 7,000 km journey to explore the desert. None / Nil ”located in the ocean currents region of the South Pacific from Chile to New Zealand.
The results of their study of the area were published in Issue 85 of the journal "Environmental Microbiology".
During the study, the team collected samples of the microbes that live in these remote waters along the path of their journey and at depths between twenty and five thousand meters. Using a modern developed analysis system, the researchers were able to schedule and determine the organic samples on the way in less than 35 hours.
Scientists have found that the numbers observed in that spot are much lower than the numbers observed in the rest of the ocean's water. For example, the number of microorganisms detected in that spot was less than a third of those observed in the Atlantic Ocean.
Life forms in the ocean desert
The researchers were able to distinguish twenty species of dominant bacteria there, which they had previously identified in other peripheral circulation systems.
The distribution of these microbial communities depends to a large extent on the depth of the water, temperature changes, nutrient concentrations and light availability.
Samples taken confirmed that this region is "largely food scarce", as it is inhabited by a small number of microscopic creatures that have adapted to "harsh physical and chemical conditions."
|Path of Expedition and the Nil Desert in Black Oceanic Streams (Uretka)|
The team detected a type of microbe named "AEGEAN-169". This species was abundant in surface waters in this desert spot, while previous research has documented its presence at a depth of 500 meters.
This can be considered as an indication of the adaptation of these microbes to life in waters with low biological productivity and high solar radiation. This gives researchers an important focus for future research.
Oceanic "nothing" desert
"Nothing" is a name given to offshore land in the central South Pacific. As this spot of remote waters lies in the heart of the South Pacific, this name has been given because it was previously inaccessible and unearthed, and it is famous for being a graveyard for shattered spacecraft and satellites.
This spot makes up 10% of the ocean currents in the South Pacific. The researchers considered it a "desert" in terms of marine biology. This description did not discourage the researchers from discovering it. There must be forms of organic life there, even if they are few or extreme.
This is due to a group of factors, including its distance from land that can provide it with a form of nutrient exchange, in addition to the role of oceanic circulation currents there in isolating the center of rotation from the rest of the ocean, and the role of high UV radiation in this part of the ocean .
Despite all these challenges, the researchers were able to provide a first-of-its-kind glimpse of the microorganisms that live in these waters.