via SciTech Daily

The bottom of the sea hides hundreds of secrets that modern science has not yet been able to decipher. Discoveries are made every day that impress scientists and change the way we view the world.

Recently a team of researchers carried out exploration at the bottom of the Arctic Ocean, using advanced equipment they managed to take many photos, videos, and soil samples to later analyze them in the lab.

When studying the images and videos and they realized that there were some kinds of strange paths, they imagined that it was some animal crawling on the bottom of the sea. But then, these marks became more and more constant in the pictures. To the expert’s surprise, these trails almost always ended right where a sponge was.

Sponges are considered among the simplest and most primitive forms of life on our planet as they have no nervous system, no organs nor the ability to move by themselves. Or so scientists thought until now.

They were thought to be attached to the seabed and only moved when pushed by ocean currents, but this new finding shows that sponges are constantly moving autonomously and can do it for several inches per year. After the analysis, the possibility that an external force was causing the movement was ruled out.

“There are no strong currents in the Arctic deep-sea that could explain the structures found on the seafloor,” said research leader Prof. Antje Boetius from the HGF-MPG Joint Research Group for Deep-Sea Ecology and Technology.

This discovery is far from being completed as it creates more questions than answers and scientists are excited to understand why sponges move, how they orient themselves on the seabed, and how their never-seen-before locomotive system actually works.

It is an exciting mystery that we hope can be solved in the next few years so that we can understand a little more about our beautiful and complicated planet.