Ukrainian teen solves deep-sea secret off Vancouver Island

A Ukrainian teen enthralled by real time pictures from an underwater digital camera off Vancouver Island has helped unravel the secret of just exactly exactly how deep-diving elephant seals eat a apparently inedible seafood.

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At first, Kirill Dudko of Donetsk, Ukraine, didn’t understand what he had seen.

The 14-year-old had been viewing real time Web video clip of a slide that is hagfish a camera in Barkley Canyon whenever a nose and whiskers starred in the framework the other inhaled the hagfish.

“It was like a horror film, ” the biology lover published in a message to your University of Victoria, the dry-land house associated with NEPTUNE Canada deep-sea camera community.

“This creature had beenn’t like a seafood and I also noticed it absolutely was a mammal due to the nose and moustache. ”

In a contact to your instances Colonist, Dudko stated he had been perplexed because he didn’t think any mammal except a whale could dive to this type of depth — the camera is 894 metres underneath the ocean.

“But it failed to appear to be a whale, ” he said.

Kim Juniper, NEPTUNE connect technology manager, stated the encounter can potentially have already been missed without Dudko’s eye that is keen.

“He had been clever adequate to understand he’d seen one thing unusual, ” said Juniper, incorporating that the NEPTUNE system encourages resident experts to simply help search through massive quantities of information collected through the undersea that is 800-kilometre of fibre-optic cable.

“But we didn’t expect that the 14-year-old will be building a development like this by himself, ” he said.

After taking a look at the movie, Juniper consulted marine mammal professionals at Fisheries and Oceans and Oregon State University and figured the mystical diver ended up being a feminine elephant seal that is northern.

“They will be the only seals known to plunge that deep, ” he stated. “They’re not really much a scuba diving seal being a surfacing seal. They invest 90 % of their own time beneath the water. ”

Although GPS transmitters have actually recorded the deep dives, the video clip may be the very first artistic proof of the way they invest their time underwater, Juniper stated.

But just what has caught experts’ attention is how a seal consumed the hagfish, an eel-like, eyeless, mucous-producing creature that even sharks and conger eels aren’t able to consume it as it blocks their gills.

“They meet french women exude so much slime that it turns water in a five-gallon bucket into jelly, ” Juniper stated.

The slime-producing skin skin pores help the hagfish worm into the systems of injured and dead whales and big seafood, which after that it consumes from within.

“It’s perhaps not just a pretty sight, ” Juniper stated.

Hagfish have now been based in the bellies of dead elephant seals before, however it had not been understood how a seals eat them without gagging on the slime — until now.

“Now we all know she didn’t bite or chew, she inhaled it, ” Juniper stated. “She developed a low-pressure vacuum cleaner around her mouth. ”

The ocean at that level is dark, and elephant seals would often utilize their whiskers as sensors. But the one in the movie had the feeling to loaf around if the lights had been fired up briefly when it comes to digital camera, Juniper stated.

The region is illuminated up just for five full minutes any a couple of hours to prevent producing conditions that are artificial. “Otherwise it might be a little like viewing bears during the dump, ” he said.

For Dudko, the knowledge has strengthened their hope to become a marine biologist.

“Biology is my subject that is favourite in and it also will be cool if my favourite pastime as time goes by will end up my profession, ” he stated.

“I fork out a lot of the time viewing the NEPTUNE movie feeds because i do believe that the underwater globe keeps countless secrets and today you are able for me personally to see the life span of their inhabitants online. It really is exciting. ”

To view the NEPTUNE video that is live follow this link.