If you read the news about how the oceans became "garbage cans" for plastic waste, you would think that humanity has damaged every corner of the planet. However, recently National Geographic Society employees found a place where human hands have not yet reached. We are talking about an underwater forest from brown algae on the edge of South America near the Tierra del Fuego archipelago (Tierra del Fuego). Scientists examined this place as early as 1973 and then lived under the densely growing algae sea urchins, stars and many different fish. After diving into the underwater forest after nearly 50 years, they found that local residents still feel great today. But how did algae and aquatic life survive in a time when the world is literally buried in piles of plastic waste?
What are underwater forests?
The trade journal PLOS One described perfectly preserved brown algae forests. Such algae collections are currently threatened with extinction due to the effects of global warming, so the forest, which is in excellent condition, can be considered a real miracle. Algae forests are usually located near the sea coast at a depth of 10 to 25 meters. They usually grow algae from the Laminariales, Macrocystis and Nereocystis orders, the length of which can reach 60 meters with a weight of up to 150 kilograms. All of this vegetation attracts many marine animals, which is why algal forests are a popular place for sea urchins, stars, crabs, molluscs and tube worms.
Algae forests are underwater areas with a high density of algae growth at a depth of 10 to 25 meters.
A place untouched by humans
According to scientists, the underwater forest remained intact even after half a century because it is very far from people. In addition, it is surrounded by a troubled sea, which can theoretically protect the place from plastic waste and other problems. Thanks to these two factors, not only did algae remain intact and intact, but also the fish and other marine life that lived beneath them. Perhaps the particular location has also reduced the damage caused by global warming, but more specifically, scientists will only find out in the course of the following scientific work.
How can you save nature?
Thanks to the discovery of an untouched algae forest, scientists were able to see with their own eyes how good life would be for sea creatures and algae if humanity did not pollute the environment. In further research, the researchers want to find out what other factors have helped algae and animals survive in such a difficult time. New knowledge will help environmentalists protect areas of our planet that are particularly affected by human exposure. Perhaps this can extend the lifespan of underwater forests by at least 50 years.
See also: Worms can eat plastic waste and clean nature
A lot of attention should be paid to the Amazon forests today, as scientists have recently concluded that they can turn into a desert in a few decades. The greatest danger to the forests is of course the people. Humankind not only actively falls forests for the production of building materials, but also destroys them indirectly and throws a large amount of greenhouse gases into the air. Due to harmful emissions, a greenhouse effect develops on the planet, which gradually increases the air temperature and causes terrible fires to occur.