Do you know how the title of the tallest mountain in the world is usually indisputably handed to Mt Everest? Turns out it does have a rivalling opponent — Mauna Kea. The only factor that stops it from claiming this title: about half of it is located underwater. The oceans are absolutely intriguing in every way possible and today, we are listing mountains that exist undersea. By Quoyina Ghosh
1. Mauna Kea (10,000 metres)
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Popularly known as the highest point in Hawaii, Mauna Kea is about 4,207 metres above sea level. However, if measured from base to peak, this ancient volcano outflanks all other mountains on earth with its formidable 10,000-metre height. From the very top of its peaks to the very bottom, it supports life in all varied forms. Above water, it is replete in deserts, woods, forests, to name a few and underwater, it provides habitation to numerous species of aquatic animals of which some are found solely in Hawaii.
2. Muirfield Seamount (approximately 5,000 metres)
Back in the year of 1973, a cargo ship by the name of MV Muirfield was afloat in the seas of the Indian Ocean when it was struck by an unidentified obstruction. Later in 1983, the area was surveyed and this seamount was charted in detail. Located just off the coast of Cocos Islands in Australia, the Muirfield Seamount stands tall as one of the highest submerged mountains found underseas.
3. Adams Seamount (3,500 metres)
Formed right above the Pitcairn hotspot in the Pacific Ocean, this seamount is the largest of 90 such seamounts extending east and southeast from the Pitcairn Islands. Research reveals it is a submarine volcano that is conjectured to have last erupted around 50 BCE. It is known to feature one of the deepest coral reefs in the world. As a result, it is replete with reef fish and numerous sharks, which are hunted by the Pitcairn islanders.
4. Walters Shoals (4,750 metres)
Located some 700 km off the Madagascar coast, Walters Shoals is known to be a famous home for a vast variety of marine animals. While it is situated far off the continental coast, their peaks are still high enough to almost breach surface. In fact, since it is in the shallow waters of the seas that marine life blooms easily, it is the height of Walters Shoals that allows it to be so conducive to marine life. When it was first found, these seamounts used to see huge populations of Galapagos sharks amidst other animals. However, since then, their numbers have drastically fallen to the point where they’re now regarded as threatened.
5. Bowie Seamount (3,000 metres)
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#TeamBowie dispatch from the field: The wonders of marine biodiversity can be difficult to translate through words, which is why our team tries to capture photos like this to help us visualize how important it is to protect biodiversity for the health of our oceans. In the marine world, each species plays a crucial role within their ecosystem, performing specific functions that are essential to their environment and, often, to human survival as well. Seamounts like the SGaan Kinghlas-Bowie marine protected area (MPA), located 180 km west of Haida Gwaii, are hotspots for marine biodiversity because of their immense and dynamic vertical structures, which allow for an unusual convergence of pelagic and nearshore species. A wide variety of species have been observed in the MPA including various crabs, sea stars, sea anemones, sponges, squid, octopus, rockfish, halibut, sablefish, steller sea lions, orca, humpbacks, sperm whales, blue sharks, and at least 16 varieties of seabirds! Damage to seamounts and overexploitation of their biodiversity can have widespread negative consequences on ocean health and food security. Since receiving formal MPA designation in 2008, this fragile ocean oasis has been safeguarded from the pressures of harmful human activity, allowing its marine community to thrive. Learn more about marine conservation in Canada at oceans.pacificwild.org (link in our bio). Photo by @d.leowinata With @iantmcallister and @t.fj.stevenson @chn_haidanation #MarineConservation #MarineProtectedAreas #BowieSeamount #ForOurOceans #Towards2020 #ig_discover_wildlife #ExploreBC
Popularly referred to as an ‘ocean oasis’, this 3,000-metre-high seamount is known for its biological richness. It boasts of octopuses, crabs, sponges amongst other aquatic creatures which in turn attracts various marine mammals and seabirds. The nickname, therefore, is quite fitting. Located off the coast of British Columbia, Canada, this seamount is located in the southern end of the Kodiak-Bowie range.
6. Vema Seamount (4,600 metres)
With a height of about 4,600 metres, this seamount reaches up to 11 metres below sea level in the South Atlantic ocean. Its towering height makes it shallow enough to be investigated by divers without any special equipment. In fact, it is so shallow that it is a very biologically rich spot. However, this also makes it a serious marine hazard for ships.