A study has identified more than 5,000 new species living in deep-sea habitats in the Pacific Ocean in a region known as the Clarion-Clipperton Zone (CCZ), a seabed targeted for mining in the coming years.
The zone extends roughly 6 million sq km (2.3 million sq miles) between Hawaii and Mexico.
Researchers said on Thursday that they had identified 5,578 species in the zone, of which 92 percent were new to science.
“There are 438 named, known species from the CCZ,” said the study’s lead author, Muriel Rabone, deep-sea ecologist at the Natural History Museum London. “But then there are 5,142 unnamed species with informal names.”