Giant seamount discovered is twice the height of world's tallest building
The underwater mountain has been discovered in Guatemala
(Web Desk) - A massive underwater mountain, otherwise known as a seamount, has been discovered on the floor of the Pacific Ocean off coast of Guatemala.
The seamount is most likely a remnant of an extinct volcano, as most seamounts are, according to NOAA Ocean Exploration, a federal program that is part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
At 1,600 meters (5,249 feet) tall, it’s nearly twice the height of Dubai’s Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world, according to a news release from Schmidt Ocean Institute, a nonprofit organization that advances oceanographic research.
The discovery of the massive structure — which covers 14 square kilometers (5.4 square miles) and sits 2,400 meters (7,874 feet) below sea level — occurred in July during an SOI expedition, which are part of the institute’s efforts to further explore the ocean, using a research vessel known as Falkor (too).
The ship is designed to map the seafloor by using a multibeam echosounder, which sends out sound waves to the ocean floor in a fan-shaped pattern, then measures the time it takes for the sound to reach the ocean floor and return.
Tomer Ketter, a hydrographer and marine technician with the Schmidt Ocean Institute, was also on board, a spokesperson for the institute said, and Ketter confirmed that the seamount was not in any database measuring ocean depths, including the General Bathymetric Chart of the Oceans.
“A seamount over 1.5 kilometers tall which has, until now, been hidden under the waves really highlights how much we have yet to discover,” said Dr. Jyotika Virmani, executive director of Schmidt Ocean Institute, in the news release.
“A complete seafloor map is a fundamental element of understanding our Ocean so it’s exciting to be living in an era where technology allows us to map and see these amazing parts of our planet for the first time.”