Researchers discover mountains made up of sugar inside the ocean bodies

Fareeha Arshad
Photo by Yannis Papanastasopoulos on Unsplash

Scientists have recently uncovered large sugar reserves below large water bodies – something never seen before. Large meadows of seagrasses have been discovered far below the surface of land that holds bulky amounts of sugar: something that may seem harmless but may have an enormous impact on global warming, climate change, and carbon storage.

Sugar is a carbohydrate, meaning it has abundant hydrogen, oxygen, and carbon molecules in its biomolecular structural chain. In a recent study, researchers have discovered that large seagrass meadows deep below the ocean floor store large amounts of sugar. This means the amount of sugar in the seabed is over eighty times more than previously expected.

According to a recent study published in the journal ‘Nature Ecology & Evolution’, the seagrasses on the ocean floor may hold up to 1.3 million tons of sugar. This large quantity equates to more than thirty billion cans of Coca-Cola. The researchers added that sugar is produced during photosynthesis, and over time, these piled up to build such a vast reservoir.

Usually, when plants have enough sunlight provided, they produce sugars for their use, like for their growth. However, when the light condition is very high, like during the afternoons or during the summer seasons, plants produce more sugars than necessary. Therefore, the excess sugar produced gets stored, and the required amount is released as and when required.

What surprised the researchers is that the surrounding organisms do not consume the excess sugars produced by seagrasses. Seagrasses release phenolic chemical compounds to stop the microbes in and around the oceans from consuming their sugars. These phenolic groups thus released act as antimicrobials and help protect and preserve the surplus sugars produced deep down in the ocean bodies.

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I am a scientist by profession and a historian by passion. I write about current affairs, history, science, and lifestyle.

Texas State

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