(this story is from August, 2020, but I just discovered it this morning)
An international team of marine scientists has discovered 30 new species of invertebrates in deep water surrounding the Galapagos, the Ecuadorian archipelago’s national park .The deep-sea experts discovered fragile coral and sponges including 10 bamboo corals, four octocorals, one brittle star and 11 sponges – as well as four new species of crustacean known as squat-lobsters – the Galapagos National Park (GNP) said in a statement.
It’s an amazing world we live in, no doubt about that and it is reassuring, amid all the talk of extinction, that new species are being discovered, but we still have more questions than answers. First, are these really new species or just species previously undiscovered by humans? Is there even any way to know that?
If they are brand new species, a more frightening question is raised. Are they arising because the toxicity levels in the ocean, whatever it is that’s killing the other species, is their natural environment, similar to what happened during the Great Oxidation Event of the paleoproterozoic era, approximately two and a half billion years ago? Perhaps they’ve evolved to exist in an atmosphere that’s toxic to life as we know it. Perhaps new species are also evolving on land. We are seeing evolution on the microbial level, which is why we’ve had to live the past year as characters in a dystopian sci-fi movie.
It is some scary shit, indeed.