Free the Ocean Blog

Explorers discover a seamount that's taller than the world's tallest building

Imagine stumbling upon a mountain underwater that’s twice as tall as the Burj Khalifa, a skyscraper in Dubai and the world’s tallest building! That’s exactly what happened in the Pacific Ocean, where ocean explorers found a seamount – a kind of underwater mountain – that’s an impressive 5,250 feet tall. This discovery, made by the team aboard the research vessel “Falkor (too)”, is like finding a hidden skyscraper in the deep blue sea.

Image credit: Schmidt Ocean Institute

A Hidden Skyscraper

This giant was hiding in plain sight in international waters, not too far from Guatemala. The team used some pretty cool tech – multibeam sonar mapping – to reveal this massive structure. It goes to show just how much of our ocean is still a mystery waiting to be discovered. (We’ve only explored 5 percent of the ocean – 95 percent is unknown)!

Seamounts are more than just big rocks in the water. They’re crucial for deep-sea life, acting like islands for corals, sponges, and other marine creatures. In a world where much of the ocean floor is soft and muddy, these rocky spots are like gold for ocean dwellers.

Falkor (too)'s Adventure Log

The research vessel Falkor (too) has been at the forefront of oceanic discovery. Recent expeditions have uncovered new hydrothermal vent fields in the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, a hidden world of marine life in the East Pacific Rise, and pristine coral reefs near the Galápagos Islands. These findings, including the newly discovered seamount, highlight the rich and unexplored tapestry of our ocean’s ecosystems.

This discovery is a drop in the ocean of what we still have to explore. With potentially over 100,000 more seamounts out there, each new expedition could bring us face to face with another part of our planet we’ve never seen before. Who knows what else we’ll find?

Image credit: Schmidt Ocean Institute

More FTO Blogs