Ukrainian teenager solves deep-sea secret off Vancouver Island

A Ukrainian teen enthralled by real time pictures from an underwater digital camera off Vancouver Island has helped unravel the mystery of exactly just exactly how deep-diving elephant seals consume a fish that is seemingly inedible.

Trending Stories

In the beginning, Kirill Dudko of Donetsk, Ukraine, didn’t understand what he had seen.

The 14-year-old had been viewing real time Web video clip of a slide that is hagfish a digital digital camera in Barkley Canyon each time a nose and whiskers starred in the framework then one inhaled the hagfish.

“It was like a horror film, ” the biology lover penned in a contact to your University of Victoria, the dry-land house regarding the NEPTUNE Canada deep-sea camera system.

“This creature wasn’t like a seafood and I also discovered it had been a mammal due to the nose and moustache. ”

In a contact into the right times Colonist, Dudko stated he had been perplexed because he didn’t think any mammal except a whale could dive to this kind of depth — the camera is 894 metres beneath the ocean.

“But it would not appear to be a whale, ” he said.

Kim Juniper, NEPTUNE connect technology manager, stated the encounter could effortlessly have already been missed without Dudko’s keen attention.

“He had been clever adequate to understand he’d seen one thing unusual, ” said Juniper, incorporating that the NEPTUNE system encourages resident boffins to simply help search through massive levels of information gathered through the 800-kilometre undersea loop of fibre-optic cable.

“But we didn’t expect that the 14-year-old could be creating a breakthrough similar to this on his own, ” he said.

After studying the video, Juniper consulted marine mammal professionals at Fisheries and Oceans and Oregon State University and determined that the mysterious diver had been a lady elephant seal that is northern.

“They will be the only seals known to plunge that deep, ” he stated. “They’re not really much a scuba scuba diving seal as being a surfacing seal. They spend 90 % of their time underneath the water. ”

The video is the first visual evidence of how they spend their time underwater, Juniper said although GPS transmitters have recorded the deep dives.

But just what has caught experts’ attention is the way the seal consumed the hagfish, an eel-like, eyeless, mucous-producing creature that even sharks and conger eels are not able for eating it as mail order bride it blocks their gills.

“They exude so much slime that it turns water in a five-gallon bucket into jelly, ” Juniper stated.

The slime-producing pores help the worm that is hagfish the systems of injured and dead whales and enormous fish, which after that it eats from within.

“It’s maybe not just a sight that is pretty” Juniper stated.

Hagfish have already been based in the bellies of dead elephant seals before, however it had not been understood the way the seals consume them without gagging on the slime — until now.

“Now we all know she didn’t bite or chew, she inhaled it, ” Juniper stated. “She developed a low-pressure cleaner around her mouth. ”

The ocean at that level is dark, and elephant seals would frequently utilize their whiskers as sensors. However the one in the video clip had the feeling to hold off if the lights had been switched on briefly when it comes to digital digital camera, Juniper stated.

The region is illuminated up just for five full minutes any two hours to prevent producing conditions that are artificial. “Otherwise it might be a little like viewing bears during the dump, ” he said.

For Dudko, the feeling has reinforced their hope of becoming a marine biologist.

“Biology is my subject that is favourite in also it will be cool if my favourite pastime as time goes on becomes my occupation, ” he stated.

“I fork out a lot of the time viewing the NEPTUNE video clip feeds for me to observe the life of its inhabitants online because I think that the underwater world keeps so many secrets and now it is possible. It really is exciting. ”

To view the NEPTUNE live movie, view here.