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Funn av saltlakebasseng i Rødehavet.

Animals die in direct contact with the site – NRK Trøndelag

During a four-week expedition to the Red Sea, American scientists discovered something completely unique. Because they found at the bottom of the sea a rather rare phenomenon:

One brine pool.

These basins are depressions on the sea floor. Here there is little or no oxygen, and the area has a salt content three to eight times higher than the surrounding sea.

In other words – not a particularly welcoming environment. However, these complexes contain secrets and knowledge.

They can say something about how the oceans on Earth formed millions of years ago. They can also provide clues to the possibility of life secondly planets…

The study was published in Nature Connections.


The depression was discovered at a depth of 1770 meters below sea level in the northern extension of the Red Sea. In the past, similar sites have been found in the Gulf of Mexico and the Mediterranean.

The pool was discovered with the help of a remote-controlled underwater vehicle.

at the crucial moment.

Sam Berkes led the study. He says it’s important to learn about life in the harsh environments on Earth, before you can search for life on other planets.

Photo: University of Miami

– We were very lucky. The discovery was made during the final minutes of a ten-hour dive, says Sam Purkis Live Science.

He is a professor at the University of Miami, and led the study.

Life on Earth is believed to have originated in the deep ocean, almost certainly under conditions devoid of oxygen. Studying this environment gives us insight into the environment in which life first arose. It could also lead us to further search for life in outer space.

dies almost instantly

These saltwater pools are one of the harshest environments on Earth. But despite their harsh environment, they are teeming with life.

In the past, scientists were able to isolate biologically active molecules from microbes found in such environments. The study says that these molecules may contain properties that can help, among other things, in the fight against cancer.

But these saline cavities certainly aren’t for everyone. However, it seems to be a popular area to hang out in. The researchers discovered that both prawns and snakes use the area for hunting.

Any animal trapped in the brine is instantly shocked or killed. Predators that hunt nearby can feed on the least luck, Burkes explains.

Coral reefs in the Red Sea 1

The Red Sea is distinguished by a rich wildlife: it is known, among other things, for the presence of sharks, but also rays, turtles and whales live in it.

Photo: Maoz Fine

Natural disasters can be tracked in time

The Red Sea has the largest number of these ponds found so far. These are believed to have originated 5-23 million years ago. At that time, the sea level in the area was lower than it is today.

But this is the first to be discovered near Earth.

To date, all these places have been located at least 25 kilometers from the coast. The new depression was found only two kilometers offshore in the Gulf of Aqaba.

With the help of basic samples from the environment, you can learn a little about the past, according to the researchers.

Among other things, they can find traces of natural forces from long ago. Both records earthquakes, floods and tsunamis.

The results indicate, among other things, that over the past 1,000 years, massive amounts of rain in the region have led to major floods approximately every 25 years. It is said that tsunamis were common once in a century.

Researchers say this is the first time such a region has been found so close to Earth. It is marked on the map in the Gulf of Aqaba in the Red Sea.

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