4 Hawaiian deep sea algae species discovered - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

4 Hawaiian deep sea algae species discovered

(Image source: NOAA) (Image source: NOAA)
(Image source: NOAA) (Image source: NOAA)
(Image source: NOAA) (Image source: NOAA)
(Image source: NOAA) (Image source: NOAA)
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

NOAA on Tuesday announced the discovery of four new species in Hawaiian waters. Scientists with NOAA's Office of National Marine Sanctuaries found a handful of deep-water algae in the ocean waters off Hawaii.

The marine algae, also known as limu, were discovered between 200 and 400 feet underwater, depths not usually known to host algae.

“I was astounded at the abundance and size of these algae,” said Heather Spalding, Ph.D., postdoctoral researcher at the University of Hawaii Department of Botany.  

Scientists say the new algae species are very different from limu found in shallow waters, but they look almost identical.
 
“If you picked up one of these algae on the beach, you couldn’t tell if it was from a nearby rock or washed up from the deep, the species look that similar,” Spalding said. 

Limu is considered an important part of Hawaiian culture and is often used in foods, ceremonies and as adornments in hula.
 
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