Monday, July 22, 2024

New Deep Sea Worm Found Off Costa Rica


Research scientists have found a new deep-sea worm in the methane seeps in the waters off Costa Rica.

The new worm, Pectinereis strickrotti, is named in honor of Bruce Strickrott, the lead pilot of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution’s deep-sea submersible Alvin. The new species is 10cm (3.9 inches) long and is a member of the ragworm family.

The species was first encountered in the seep by Strickrott and Greg Rouse, a marine biologist at UC San Diego’s Scripps Institution of Oceanography in 2009. They first saw the species at a depth of around 1,000 meters (3,280 feet).

According to Strickrott:

“We saw two worms near each other about a sub’s length away swimming just off the bottom. We couldn’t see them well and tried to creep in for a closer look, but it’s hard to creep in a submarine and we spooked them. The way this thing moved was so graceful, I thought it looked like a living magic carpet. I’m honored that Greg [Rouse] saw fit to name this species after me, it means a lot.”

While Rouse added:

“We’ve spent years trying to name and describe the biodiversity of the deep sea. At this point we have found more new species than we have time to name and describe. It just shows how much undiscovered biodiversity is out there. We need to keep exploring the deep sea and to protect it.”

Sam Helmy
Sam Helmy
Sam Helmy is a TDI/SDI Instructor Trainer, and PADI Staff and Trimix Instructor. Diving for 28 years, a dive pro for 14, I have traveled extensively chasing my passion for diving. I am passionate about everything diving, with a keen interest in exploration, Sharks and big stuff, Photography and Decompression theory. Diving is definitely the one and only passion that has stayed with me my whole life! Sam is a Staff Writer for