Underwater mountains three times taller than world’s largest structure discovered

Underwater mountains three times taller than world’s largest structure discovered

Scientists have discovered four underwater mountains more than a thousand metres below the surface of the South Pacific Ocean.

Schmidt Ocean Institute crews were on an undersea mapping transit from Costa Rica to Chile when keen-eyed researchers discovered bumps on the ocean floor were in fact “seamounts”.

The largest came to 2680 metres tall – more than three times the height of the world’s tallest structure the Burj Khalifa – and covered 450 square kilometres.

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Multibeam technology was used to capture visuals of the four seamounts.

The seamounts can be spotted by observing changes in the shape of the seafloor, a slight depression and a bump.

The find smashed the 1600-metre-tall seamount discovered in international waters off Guatemala in November.

Schmidt Ocean Institute said underwater mountains sheltered a host of sea life and organisations and were vital to understanding more of our oceans.

“Every time we find these bustling seafloor communities, we make incredible new discoveries and advance our knowledge of life on Earth,” executive director Jyotika Virmani said.

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So far, only 25 per cent of the ocean’s floor has been mapped. 

The institute has mapped about 1.5 million square kilometres of the ocean and discovered 29 seamounts since 2012.

“A map is a fundamental tool for understanding our planet,” Virmani said.

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