Scientists from NUI Galway have discovered a marine habitat with organisms hundreds of years old in Irish waters.

The researchers published their findings today, in the PLOS One academic journal.

Their exploration has revealed a previously hidden world, 800m below the sea surface.

The habitat was located in the Whittard Canyon, around 200km off the southwest coast.

It was found on a rock face around 150m high.

It is rich in biodiversity, with an array of bivalves and deep water oysters, co-existing with fish, crabs and coral.

The researchers say it is extremely rare to see so many, so close and so large at such depth…..

RTE News 19/11/2013 Read the article ‘Rare marine habitat found off southwest coast’

RTE - The habitat was located in the Whittard Canyon (Images from NUI Galway-led cruise courtesy of the Marine Institute)
RTE – The habitat was located in the Whittard Canyon (Images from NUI Galway-led cruise courtesy of the Marine Institute)