Scientists have discovered a underwater pool saturated with salt beneath the Gulf of Mexico that so hot it kills all marine life that centre there. The body of water looks enticing, but creatures entering the underwater lake die. Biogeochemist Scott Wankel, from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, said that the brine pool called “Jacuzzi of Despair” is about 16 degrees celsius, which is far warmer compared with the 4-degree temperature of the surrounding water. The warmth of the lake draws unsuspecting marine life such as crabs that look for food. Wankel said that the creatures die, get pickled and get preserved when they fall in the warm but super salty underwater lake.
Located 3,300 feet underwater, the brine pool has water within its perimeters that is between four to five times saltier compared with the surrounding gulf. Underwater lakes have their own surface and shorelines. With their high salinity from salts that leach out of the seafloor, these bodies of water create a barrier to the water around it. Because the water is so dense it stays at the bottom, forming the lake underwater.
It was one of the most amazing things in the deep sea,” said Erik Cordes from Temple University. “You go down into the bottom of the ocean and you are looking at a lake or a river flowing. It feels like you are not on this world.”
Cordes is part of the team that discovered the site and reported the findings in the journal Oceanography.
The salinity of the water in the newly discovered underwater lake creates a killer solution of toxic chemicals, which include hydrogen sulfide and methane gas.