How Many Undiscovered Sea Creatures Are There?

Ashley | 08 - 04 - 2021

Do you know that only 5% of the seafloor has been mapped? Researchers have estimated that given the extensive number of sea creatures found so far there may be a few hundred thousand to more than 10 million undiscovered sea creatures. 

How Much of the Ocean Is Undiscovered?

Statistics say about 80% of the ocean is unexplored and that there are very few to no measures taken to explore these unexplored parts of the ocean. 

Until recently the number of animals that live in the ocean that have been found already is not categorized into lists. Thus, the World Register of Marine Species is taking significant steps to record these sea organisms exclusive of bacteria, viruses, and archaea found by several research labs across the globe.

What Percentage of Species in the Sea Remains Undiscovered?
  • A. 80%
  • B. 88%
  • C. 90%
  • D. 99%

There are about 226,000 recorded species at present and two approaches in measuring the number of undiscovered animals in the ocean. 

Species Area Curve

Biologists and zoologists suggest that the number of species under a taxonomy with the availability of food and other resources increases with the increase in the area. This approach is highly difficult to work with the vast spread of ocean and the number of researches that happen. 

Popular Method

Given the size of certain mammals, their ancestors’ fossils, and the earth’s age, there cannot be a lot of chances for evolution. Thus, discovering new species of large sea creatures will reduce considerably. Therefore, it will be easier to categorize medium to large-sized creatures in the oceans. 

On the other hand, finding new invertebrates has risen steadily given their evolutionary speed making it impossible to estimate. 

Since both the approaches are based on human activity, finding new creatures naturally is quite difficult. NMNH scientists say there is a possibility to find many different species each time a research lab extends its boundaries and there is no definite answer until the majority of the ocean is brought under study.

Take this quiz on blue whales for more fun!

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