Scientists looking for deep sea organisms on a research cruise last month got a surprise when, instead of deep sea life, they pulled up metal balls the size of softballs. The German researchers stumbled inadvertently onto the discovery of the largest deposit of manganese nodules known to exist in the Atlantic ocean.
"Manganese nodules are found in all oceans. But the largest deposits are known to occur in the Pacific. Nodules of this size and density in the Atlantic are not known," Colin Devey, lead scientist on the expedition said in a press release. The nodules found by Devey and the other scientists working on the research vessel, the SONNE, ranged in size from golf balls to bowling balls.