Researchers hit the jackpot in waters around the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands yesterday. They discovered more than 50 new fish and 10 new algae species never before seen in the Hawaiian Islands. These findings are not only unheard of, but they’re a sign of increased variety in life existing at the Papahanaumoku National Monument.

The chain of small islands and atolls has been called a hotspot for biopersity. With these new discoveries, it’s even hotter than researchers thought. The newly-found fish also happened to be cruising in an entirely new type of coral reef habitat. The algae beds serve as nurseries for the baby fish.

Imagine being 300 feet below the ocean surface, seeing a world like no snorkel expedition in Hanauma Bay could amount to. That’s exactly where researchers had been spending their time during the 25-day expedition. This is all thanks to high-tech scuba gear that allowed them to go deeper than ever before. You’ll get to see this amazing underwater world, too. Video crew members from Oiwi TV documented the voyage. There will also be one-of-a-kind paintings available for viewing. A Native Hawaiian artist tagged along and has already created 16 works of art to convey his experience on board.

These discoveries prove how amazing live underwater can be. Just imagine, the colorful coral and sea creatures we’re able to see right off of shore is probably double, triple that in untouched waters. I’m excited to find out what becomes of these breakthrough discoveries; perhaps we’ll soon be seeing them in waters near us!

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