MULTIPLUTO DIVES 1850 METERS DEEP and discovers a deep biological oasis in the hearth of the Ligurian Sea.
Two deep bathyal dives conducted at 1850 m have successfully concluded the project SIR-BIOMOUNT, directed by Marzia Bo, a researcher in marine zoology of the University of Genova.
In the middle of the Ligurian Sea, rising from a muddy bottom at 2300 m, emerges a rocky spur known as Spinola.
Rocky elevations are optimal substrata for benthic fauna, nonetheless no geological or biological exploration was carried out before in this area due to its extremely deep location.
The Multipluto discovered an extremely rich and diversified fauna composed of gorgonians and antipatharians, including an undescribed species of the bottlebrush black coral Parantipathes sp. observed on other seamounts recently explored in the Tyrrhenian Sea as well as two probably new Mediterranean corals, a fan-like gorgonian and a yellow candelabrum-shaped black coral. Specimen were obtained for further detailed studies.
The Multipluto vehicle unrolled almost all its 2000 meters of optical fiber cable, dragged by a stone used as disposable ballast. The second time, Multipluto landed exactly were the first ballast was released proving the stability and precision of the entire system, from the dynamic positioning of the vessel Daedalus to the descent procedure.