Scientists have discovered a real “dead pool” at the bottom of the Red Sea – one that will kill almost any creature that swims in it.
The pool — which measures 107,000 square feet, or just over the size of an average Manhattan city block — was discovered by University of Miami researchers using a remotely operated underwater vehicle during a 2020 expedition through the North Sea Pocket.
Located 1.1 miles below sea level, the pool is de-oxygenated and filled with brine — a highly concentrated saline solution that has proven deadly.
“Any animal that strays into the brine is immediately stunned or killed,” lead researcher Sam Purkis told Live Science, with the publication describing the super-saline pools as “one of the most extreme environments on earth.”
“Fish, shrimp and eels appear to use the brine to hunt,” Purkis continued, claiming the “predators” lurk near the deadly pool to “feed on the unfortunate” creatures that accidentally swim in.
This isn’t the first brine pool discovered by scientists — oceanographers have already spotted “a few dozen” of the deadly pools in the Red Sea, Mediterranean Sea and Gulf of Mexico over the past 30 years.
However, this finding surprised the scientists because the pool is so close to land.
Previously, the nearest brine pool in the Red Sea was found at least 15.5 miles offshore. However, this pool was found just 2 km off the coast of Egypt.
According to researchers, the Red Sea has the highest known number of saltwater pools. They are thought to have formed from dissolving pockets of minerals deposited up to 23 million years ago.
In 2015, marine biologists were thrilled to discover a brine pool more than half a mile below the surface of the Gulf of Mexico.
The pool was dubbed the “Hot Tub Sole Machine” because it had changed little in the tens of millions of years since it was formed.