Surveys May Pave the Way for Deep Sea Mining

Aug 9, 2018

A Longicaud Psychropotes sea cucumber on polymetallic nodules, also known as manganese nodules.
Credit Philweb / Wikimedia Commons

Predatory sponges and giant sea cucumbers were just a few of the discoveries made by University of Hawaii researchers on a recent deep sea survey. But this purpose of the mission was not to identify new species; rather it was to map the ocean floor for manganese nodules.

More than a dozen countries are eyeing the ocean floor for the polymetallic rocks and for use in the computer industry. Deep-sea mining has not yet begun, but expeditions like this one are paving the way for it.