Deep sea coral garden found in the unlikeliest of places

Think of beautiful coral gardens and you’ll likely bring to mind the Great Barrier Reef or the azure waters surrounding the Maldives.

But scientists have come across a new collection of corals 5,000 feet under the eaves off the coast of Greenland.

Even more remarkably, the surprise find was made using a homemade low-cost deep sea video camera.

Researchers say the discovery, the first of its kind, could have important consequences for the country’s fishing industry, which accounts for more than 80 per cent of its exports.

Study first author doctoral student Stephen Long, of University College London (UCL), said: ‘The deep sea is often overlooked in terms of exploration.

‘In fact we have better maps of the surface of Mars, than we do of the deep sea.’

The deep sea is the biggest natural habitat on earth, covering nearly 65 per cent of the planet. But very little was known about Greenland’s deep seas until recently, because studying it is both difficult and expensive.

The main challenge is the ocean pressure, which increases by one atmosphere every ten metres of descent.

Previous expeditions have had to rely on expensive remote vehicles and manned submarines, like those used in the famous documentary series The Blue Planet.

To overcome this challenge, the research team designed its very own ‘low-cost towed video sled’ using a GoPro video camera and pressurised lights and lasers, all mounted on a robust steel frame.

Mr Long said: ‘The development of a low-cost tool that can withstand deep-sea environments opens up new possibilities for our understanding and management of marine ecosystems.

‘We’ll be working with the Greenland government and fishing industry to ensure this fragile, complex and beautiful habitat is protected.’

The team placed the Mini Cooper sized video sled on the seafloor for roughly 15 minutes at a time across 18 different locations. The DIY video camera was able to capture over 1,200 pictures, from which the team identified nearly 40,000 corals.

Mr Long said: ‘A towed video sled is not unique, however our research is certainly the first example of a low-cost DIY video sled being used to explore deep-sea habitats in Greenland’s 2.2 million kilometres squared of sea.

‘So far, the team has managed to reach an impressive depth of 1,500 metres. It has worked remarkably well and led to interest from researchers in other parts of the world.’

The soft coral garden, which lives in near total darkness, was discovered 500 metres below sea level and is home to feather stars, sponges, anemones, brittle stars, hydrozoans, bryozoans and other organisms.

Study last author Dr Chris Yesson, of the Zoological Society London, said: ‘Coral gardens are characterised by collections of one or more species – typically of non-reef forming coral, that sit on a wide range of hard and soft bottom habitats, from rock to sand, and support a diversity of fauna.

‘There is considerable diversity among coral garden communities, which have previously been observed in areas such as northwest and southeast Iceland.’

The team hopes the area, which extends over nearly 500 square kilometres will be protected as a ‘Vulnerable Marine Ecosystem’ under UN guidelines as it is right next to deep-sea trawl fisheries.

Deep-sea trawling for shrimp and prawns is vital to Greenland’s economy but can damage the environment by dragging heavy gear across the seabed.

Dr Martin Blicher from the Greenland Institute of Natural Resources said: ‘Greenland’s seafloor is virtually unexplored, although we know it is inhabited by more than 2000 different species together contributing to complex and diverse habitats, and to the functioning of the marine ecosystem.

‘Despite knowing so little about these seafloor habitats, the Greenlandic economy depends on a small number of fisheries which trawl the seabed. We hope that studies like this will increase our understanding of ecological relationships, and contribute to sustainable fisheries management.’

The findings were published in the journal Frontiers in Marine Science.

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Girl, 3, ‘found bleeding from bullet wound to her chest after being hit in Chicago drive-by shooting’ while playing – The Sun

A YOUNG girl in Chicago was shot on Tuesday night while playing outside in her front yard, police said.

The three-year-old was said to be in serious but stable condition after being shot in the neighborhood of West Englewood, located on the Illinois city's South Side, around 8pm.

According to WLS-TV, the child was playing outside with other kids when a family member heard what they thought were fireworks shooting off.

The girl's mother ran outside and "said she found her daughter lying face up with a bullet wound to her chest."

The child was transported to the hospital, where she underwent surgery on Tuesday night.

Authorities said the three-year-old has since been talking.

Shootings throughout Chicago last weekend left at least two children dead, including a 10-year-old who was struck by a stray bullet that came through an apartment window around 9.40pm.

Preliminary information from police showed that gunfire came from a group of men who had been shooting at each other on the block, authorities said.

A one-year-old boy, identified as Sincere Gaston, who was riding in the back of a car driven by his mother as they traveled to the laundromat was shot when someone opened fire from another car, while the mom suffered a graze wound to her head.

Activists and local leaders have pleaded for state and federal support to combat violence in the city, as concerns grow about a violent summer ahead.

“It’s out of control where even innocent children are losing their lives,” neighborhood activist Raul Montes Jr, who planned a weekend vigil, said, calling for federal help.

State Representative La Shawn Ford, a Democrat in Chicago, said: “Violence is a result of poverty, and must be addressed with human services and support."

Last week, President Donald Trump sent Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Illinois Governor JB Pritzker a letter urging them to end the city's "continued violence."

The president cited an article from the Chicago Sun-Times which reported on “the most violent day in 60 years in Chicago” after 18 were killed in 24 hours on May 31.

Those numbers rose even higher last weekend as 104 people were shot and 14 were killed, including a three-year-old boy.

In response, Lightfoot tweeted: “I don’t need leadership lessons from Donald Trump.”

Trump wrote to the Democrats: “Your lack of leadership on this important issue continues to fail the people you have sworn to protect.”

“I am concerned it is another example of your lack of commitment to the vulnerable citizens who are victims of this violence and a lack of respect for the men and women in law enforcement.”

“More Americans have been killed in Chicago than in combat zones of Afghanistan and Iraq combined since September 11, 2001, a deadly trend that has continued under your tenure,” Trump said.

The president went on to say US taxpayers “send you millions in federal funding each year to support public safety in Chicago … however, these substantial sums of taxpayer money are not being turned into results.”

On Saturday, Lightfoot tweeted: “The pain of losing a child never goes away. Today, we lost more young people to the gun violence epidemic: a 17-year-old in Humboldt Park and a 1-year-old in Englewood."

"As a mother, I am tired of the funerals. I am tired of burying our children."

She continued: "It's on all of us to double down on our all-hands-on-deck public safety efforts with police officers, street outreach teams, trauma support workers, community and faith-based partners."

"We must ask ourselves: 'What are we each doing to make this a season of bounty, not tragedy?"

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Man, 74, found confused after falling down stairs in 24 Hours in A&E

Man, 74, who was found in a state of confusion after falling down the stairs leaves 24 Hours in A&E viewers heartbroken – after his children reveal he turned to alcohol following his wife’s death from cancer

  • Richard, 74, from East Surrey, was rushed to hospital after being found confused 
  • Doctors discovered signs of a brain injury leading his children to reveal the tragedy that befell their father 
  • Told how wife died from cancer and shared shattering effect it has had on his life

24 Hours in A&E viewers were left in tears after a 74-year-old man was rushed to hospital after being found in a state of confusion.

In last night’s episode of the Channel 4 show, Richard, from East Surrey, who was last seen two nights before after going out drinking, was found by a next kin after falling down a flight of stairs. 

However, viewers were left heartbroken when it was revealed he had turned to drink following the death of his beloved wife – who tragically passed away after a battle with cancer. 

‘So sad, poor Richard…’ wrote one, followed by a heartbroken emoji, while a second penned: ‘Listening to Richard’s background on #24HrsAE and it really made me think of that saying, how you can never judge someone before you walk a mile in their shoes.’  

Richard, 74, from East Surrey, was rushed to hospital after being found in a state of confusion in last night’s episode of Channel 4’s 24 Hours in A&E (pictured, with his children Chris and Mel)

Mel (pictured) explained how her mother was taken into hospital and was told she’d have to have an operation – but stood a five per cent maximum chance of survival

Viewers were quick to take to Twitter, with one writing: ‘So sad, poor Richard…’ followed by a heartbroken emoji (pictured)

‘I hadn’t heard from dad for a couple of days,’ his son Chris explained. ‘He had been going out and socialising. On the Friday morning I said to my wife I need to speak to dad, I was a bit concerned.’

‘I phoned him and he couldn’t speak properly. He was making noises. Various things flash through your head – has he had a stroke? But then when I made out the words “I’ve had a fall,” you think right, I need to go.’

‘When I got to dad’s it was a mess. It was carnage. It looked like a bit of a crime scene to be honest. There was smashed pictures, smashed furniture where he’d fallen down onto it. It was shocking.’

After being rushed to hospital, doctors revealed that Richard had sustained life-threatening injuries – including three rib fractures, frontal contusion and an occipital bleed.

‘It’s horrible to see weakness in your parents,’ continued Chris. ‘I knew dad being in this state was almost certainly a few too many to drink the night before.’ 

As Richard’s children Chris and Mel waited in the relatives room, they revealed he tragedy that befell their father and the shattering effect it has had on his life. 

At hospital, doctors revealed that Richard (pictured) had sustained life-threatening injuries – including three rib fractures, frontal contusion and an occipital bleed

Richard’s son Chris said he know his dad was almost certainly in this state due to a few too many to drink the night before. Pictured, Richard in hospital

‘Mum and dad always looked forward to retirement,’ explained Chris. ‘They loved the idea of spending time with their grandchildren. Mum’s only ambition was to spend time with her grandchildren.

‘Then when you find out the only really ambition she ever had is going to be taken away from her – that’s horrible.’

He went on to explain that his mother was diagnosed with cancer around the time she was due to retire – and that his dad’s way of dealing with it was to pretend and believe it wasn’t going to be that bad. 

‘She was taken into hospital and she was told she’d have to have an operation and she stood a five per cent maximum chance of survival,’ Mel continued. 

‘Obviously you’re in complete shock and we thought we had a bit more time. Right as they took her to go through the theatre doors we said, “love you goodbye,” and she said: “If I die, I didn’t mean to – sorry.”‘

And while Richard may have been through a lot, he made it clear he was determined to enjoy life with his grandchildren after recovering from the incident. 

‘My family mean everything to me,’ he explained. ‘It has been a wake up call for me. It’s made me change the way I think about things and how valuable life is. I’ve got a second chance at it. I do feel like I have to make the most of every moment. My hopes for the future is to see my wonderful grandchildren grow up.’

At the end of the episode, Richard said: ‘My family mean everything to me. It has been a wake up call for me’

Taking to social media, one viewer commented: ‘Awww, bless him…Come on Richard, you can do it pal!’ (pictured)

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70 penguins found dead on Brazilian beaches after being caught in nets

70 penguins are found dead on Brazilian beaches after getting caught in fishing nets during migration

  • 70 Magellanic penguins were discovered on two neighbouring beaches in Brazil 
  • R3 Animal Association found the birds on the Santinho and Mocambique beaches
  • One penguin was discovered alive and was taken to a centre for rehabilitation 

The bodies of 70 penguins have been discovered on two neighbouring beaches in Brazil after apparently getting caught in fishing nets.

The horrific scene was discovered by the R3 Animal Association on the Santinho and Mocambique beaches in the city of Florianopolis in south-eastern Brazil.

R3 Animal Association are one of the institutions which carry out the Monitoring Project of the Santos Basin Beaches.

70 dead Magellanic penguins were discovered washed up on two neighbouring beaches, Santinho and Mocambique, in south-eastern Brazil

The horrific scene was discovered by the R3 Animal Association which carry out the Monitoring Project of the Santos Basin Beaches

They said: ‘We monitor the beaches on the island [of Santa Catarina where Florianopolis is located] in search of dead or weak marine animals.

‘The dead animals undergo examination to determine the cause of death, and the living animals are rehabilitated before being released.’

The beach monitoring is monitored because of an environmental requirement enforced when licensing was given for the exploration of possible oil and gas reserves in the Santos Basin.

Marks on the flippers of some of the Magellanic penguins and the fragment of a fishing net still attached to one of the penguins led to the belief that the birds were killed after getting caught in the netting.

Team members from R3 Animal Association examine and document the bodies of some of the penguins

Marks on the flippers of some of the Magellanic penguins and the fragment of a fishing net still attached to one of the penguins led to the belief that the birds were killed after getting caught in the netting

All 70 birds have been taken to the Centre of research, Rehabilitations and Depetrolisation of Marine Animals for an autopsy.

Vet Janaina Rocha Lorenco said that preliminary analysis shows a lack of feathers on the birds’ flippers, generalised congestion and other signs point to the penguins potentially having bee trapped in fishing nets and trying to free themselves.

One penguin was discovered by a team on Mocambique beach and has been taken to a centre for rehabilitation.

Magellanic penguins are often seen in the area at this time of year as they migrate from Patagonia in southern Argentina.

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All 70 birds have been taken to the Centre of research, Rehabilitations and Depetrolisation of Marine Animals for an autopsy

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New planet found 32 light years away could hold answers to the evolution of Earth

A NEW planet the size of Neptune has been found orbiting a star 32 light years from Earth.

It could shed light on the evolution of Earth.

The exoplanet named Au Mic b, is much too hot to host life, say astronomers.

Its sun is only 20 to 30million years old — roughly 180 times younger than ours.

Nasa’s Dr Tom Barclay said: “Studying this planet can give us insight into how our own solar system formed.”

About 30,000 miles wide, Au Mic b is likely to be primarily comprised of gases — and may be the shape of a teardrop.

Co-author Dr Jonathan Gagne, of Montreal University, said AU Microscopii has a strong magnetic field – and will be very active.

He said: "It's a small star – with only about 50 per cent of the Sun's mass."

Astrophysicists have been searching for exoplanets in this solar system for more than a decade.

Dr Gagne added: "It took nearly 15 years to find AU Mic b.

"The numerous spots and eruptions on the surface of its sun hampered its detection – which was already complicated by the presence of the disc."

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NJ family found dead in backyard pool died from drowning

The three family members found dead in a New Jersey backyard pool on Monday all accidentally drowned, authorities said Tuesday.

Bharat Patel, 62, his 33-year old daughter-in-law Nisha Patel and her 8-year-old daughter were identified as the three victims, Chief Frank LoSacco of the East Brunswick Police Department said.

The trio all lived at the the East Brunswick home, where their lifeless bodies were discovered in their above-ground pool on Monday afternoon, authorities said.

It was not immediately clear how deep the pool is.

Authorities were investigating the possibility the family members had been electrocuted and had called an electrician to the house on Clearview Road to rule out the possibility, law-enforcement sources said.

The Middlesex County regional medical examiner’s office then determined Tuesday afternoon they had all drowned in the pool.

Neighbors on the street said the family had only moved into the house a few weeks ago.

Property records show that it was bought for $451,000 by Akash and Nisha Patel in late April.

The former owner who sold the house earlier this year insisted to The Post that there had been no problems with the pool before.

Police had been called to the home around 4:20 p.m. when a neighbor heard screaming, thinking someone had fallen, police said.

“We believe the mother was screaming from inside the pool for help,” police spokesman Sutter said at a press conference.

Mayor Brad Cohen told that the “entire East Brunswick community is shocked and saddened.”

“Our condolences go out to the family and may they find strength from the community that shares in their grief,” Cohen said.

Additional reporting by Kevin Sheehan

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