What do deep sea creatures and batteries have in common?

New species are being discovered every day, but it’s not often that thousands of previously undescribed species are classified.

But that’s what’s happened recently, with around 5,000 newly described species being added to a special animal checklist specific to the CCZ – a region of the Pacific Ocean between Hawaii and Mexico.

However, there are other potential issues in the deep sea.

The region where these species live is marked for mining – deep sea mining to be exact – with rare polymetallic nodules on the seabed enticing resource companies for their ready supply of rare earth minerals.

That might spell doom for these just-described animals.

And for humans, the risk of these radioactive nodules is still to be determined. The reason? They’re radioactive.

On this episode of The Science Briefing, Matthew Ward Agius and Dr Sophie Calabretto dive deep under the water to check out these new species and dig into the issues of mining the seafloor.

The Ultramarine project – focussing on research and innovation in our marine environments – is supported by Minderoo Foundation.

Please login to favourite this article.