Tiny single-celled organisms, many of them previously unknown, have been discovered beneath nearly
seven miles of water in the deepest part of the ocean. A sample of sediment collected from the
Challenger Deep southwest of Guam in the Pacific Ocean Islands yielded several hundred foraminifera,
a type of plankton that is usually abundant near the ocean surface. âOn the species level, all the species
we found from the Challenger Deep are quite new,â said researcher Hiroshi Kitazato of the Institute for
Research on Earth Evolution, Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology.
These distinct creatures probably represent the remnants of a deep-dwelling group that was able to a
dapt to the high pressures. Because the water is so deep, the pressure where the find was made
is 1,100 times more than normal atmospheric pressure at the surface. While many foraminifera have
hard shells, the researchers noted that this newly found group does not.