Beijing: Scurrying the Indian Ocean bed for rare minerals, China's manned deep sea submersible Jiaolong collected 17 items of deep-sea living beings and two of them were unknown to scientists.
With a size similar to a regular sea cucumber, the first mysterious creature broke into three parts when it was taken to the vessel in the south west Indian Ocean, official media reports said today.
Since the living being was transparent, scientists could see its blue and brown viscera clearly.
"This might be a special kind of sea cucumber, but we need to make sure after further analysis in labs," Lu Bo, a scientist with the Second Institute of Oceanography of the State Oceanic Administration (SOA), told state-run Xinhua news agency.
Looking like a small pink snake, the second weird creature, which is 330 centimeters long and three centimeters wide, is completely unknown for the scientists. Two bubbles appeared in its body, due to pressure change, scientists said.
"These two living beings might be new species but we can't be certain with limited tools and data on the ship," Lu Bo said.
Additionally, the Jiaolong gathered 15 deep-sea shrimps, water and sulfide weighing 6.9 kilograms.
Earlier, Jiaolong which started the operations few weeks ago already secured contracts to explore Indian Ocean for polymetallic sulphide ore and its research vessel has discovered two hydrothermal areas and four hydrothermal anomaly areas in February this year in southwest Indian Ocean.
China's State Oceanic Administration (SOA) said the discovery poly metallic deposits in the southwest Indian Ocean as "beyond anticipation."
The SOA said that scientists onboard the "Dayang-1" research vessel also gained insight on the origins of carbonate hydrothermal areas, and made successful attempts to explore for sulfide.
Hydrothermal sulfide is a kind of sea-bed deposit containing copper, zinc and precious metals such as gold and silver.
Those metals formed sulfides after chemical reactions and came to rest in the seabed in "chimney vents," official media had reported earlier.
Firming up its foothold in India's backyard, China had gained approval in 2012 to explore a 10,000 sq km polymetallic sulphide ore deposit in an international seabed region of the southwest Indian Ocean.
The 15-year approval was secured by China from the International Seabed Authority (ISA).
China also has obtained exclusive rights to prospect in a 75,000-square-km polymetallic nodule ore deposit in the east Pacific Ocean in 2001.
Reaching the maximum depth of 7,062 meters in the Mariana Trench in June 2012, the Jiaolong is on a 120-day expedition to study polymetallic sulfide, biological diversity, hydrothermal microbes and genetic resources in the southwest Indian Ocean.Suggest a correction