Marcus's Mumblings

My Not so Quiet Opinions on the News

Living Gold Found on Deep-Sea Ore Deposits

In the deep waters making up the eastern part of the Pacific Ocean, a treasure trove can be found on the lumps of metallic ore that litter the bottom. The ore itself is valuable, but it’s the sponges that attach themselves to the ore nodules that scientists are interested in.

According to, this new species of sponge was reported by researchers on September 24th. These newly discovered deep sea residents may help scientists monitor environmental impacts caused by deep-sea mining.

To make tracking the effects caused by the mining on deep-sea ecosystems easier, scientists are eager to setup a baseline of existing biodiversity. Especially in regions like the Clarion-Clipperton Zone (C-C-Z), which lies in the eastern Pacific Ocean, and is littered with the ore nodules.

This new sponge could very well be the key to that baseline. After samples of the ore nodules were retrieved from the C-C-Z in 2015, scientists noticed patches of snow-white sponges on the ore. It was believed to be a new species, and was later proven by DNA analyses. The proximity of the sponge to the ore may make it the perfect canary for this new coal mine.

1 Comment

  1. There’s a lot going on here, Marcus. The lede suggested it was a story about treasure. Then I thought it was about sponges. It wasn’t until the last line that I put it all together. You need to help the listener. I think the lede, the first sentence is OK. But then the next sentence or two needs to focus on how this new sponge could be the “perfect canary” for understanding the environmental impact of deep sea mining. Then the new species and what it could reveal about the changing ocean. You can drop the CCZ stuff. That’s too specific.

    Remember that BC stories are just the highlights.

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