A conglomerate of Canadian and Spanish researchers have discovered new marine life, which have been previously unknown to the scientific community, and some are even over a 1,000 years old. They are hoping that these creatures will shed some light into the secrets of the ancient underwater ecosystems.

Scientists from the Spanish Institute of Oceanography in conjunction with three Canadian universities and the Fisheries Department are going on a 20 day expedition to take some photos and pick up samples of coral and sponges up to 3 kilometers deep in the cold waters off the Newfoundland coast.

The team will be studying 11 different areas which are under the protection of the North Atlantic Fisheries Organization.

These are important areas of study as they are the home to the “trees of the ocean” explains a research scientist with the Fisheries Department, Ellen Kenchington. Ellen is also leading the expedition.

The coral which can be found in these areas can be several meters tall and is sufficient enough in size to change the flow of currents. It is also the home to many other fish and other aquatic life.

The aim of the study is to see whether or not these areas need further protection from fishing to help keep the species abundant.

Ellen went on to explain that scientists can actually take a look at the chemical makeup of the coral and figure out the temperature of the water and other information dating back as far as 1,000 years!

For pictures see