Scientific Exploration: Discoveries
New species of fishes, octopus and algae.
New seamounts, some of which are over 14,000 feet in elevation – that’s more than the height of 10 Empire State Buildings!
The largest sponge in the world, comparable in size to a minivan.
The largest gorgonian coral in the world, reaching 19 feet in height.
The oldest marine organism in the world – a deep-sea black coral that can live up to 4,500 years!
Reefs with 100% unique fishes – this is the highest level of endemism from any known marine ecosystem on Earth.
The remote waters of Papahānaumokuākea have only scarcely been surveyed and represent an enormous opportunity for scientific discoveries.
Research expeditions using closed-circuit rebreathers and technical diving have returned with a treasure trove of new species from deep reefs between 150 and 330 feet.
New findings are made on virtually every expedition to the monument, including new species, genera, habitats, geological features, the oldest animal, the largest sponge, the largest coral, and deep coral reefs composed entirely of endemic fishes, species found nowhere else in the world.
Completely new to science, several new species of algae were given formal scientific names in ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i (Hawaiian language), in coordination with the PMNM Cultural Working Group and other cultural practitioners.
Learn more about these discoveries:
Wave glider conducts soundscape research in the monument »
Algae species discovered infesting NW Hawaiian waters has been identified »
New Algae Species Discovered in Hawaii's Deep Waters »
Coral Reef Fish named in Honor of President Obama Unique to Papahānaumokuākea »
Scientists discover a new deep-reef Butterflyfish species in Papahānaumokuākea »
News about world's largest sponge »
2015 mesophotic research expedition »
2015 Okeanos expedition »
News about new black coral species »
2014 mesophotic research expedition »
More info on endemism in the Monument »
Images (from top): NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research, Greg McFall/NOAA, NOAA and Richard Pyle/Bishop Museum, and Chris Kelley/NOAA/HURL.