August in Denmark: Devilishly adroit in the deep – The Post

August in Denmark: Devilishly adroit in the deep

Danes keep on coming up trumps beneath the waves

Something’s lurking… and researchers have found it (photo: iStock)
September 10th, 2016 7:00 pm| by TheCopenhagenPost

Pioneers and innovators are known for digging deep to achieve the impossible. But now it would seem that this country’s researchers are routinely heading into the deep to do the same, as August has seen a lot of Danish success beneath the waves.

Ocean current malfunction?
First off, the results of a three-year University of Copenhagen (KU) project in East Antarctica suggests global ocean currents, which distribute hot and cold water around the globe, could start to misfire.

The team used elephant seals to collect marine data from Prydz Bay, an area in East Antarctica inaccessible to people, and were able to detect that melting ice is decreasing the salinity of the surrounding ocean, which may lead to the collapse of Antarctic bottom water formation.

Oldest ever vertebrate
Another team from KU, meanwhile, has found a specimen of the Arctic-dwelling Greenland shark that is at least 272 years old and could perhaps be as old as 512, making it the world’s oldest living vertebrate.

The team’s carbon-14 dating of the Greenland shark’s eye lenses confirmed the age – no mean feat considering the sharks tend to live at depths of up to 2,000 metres.

Shark blood cure
Also on the trail of a shark or two are DEMKIP, a research group that believes the animal’s blood hold the key to finding a cure for serious brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

The research group are aiming to raise 1,000,000 US dollars via the Indiegogo crowdfunding site Indiegogo. In co-operation with KU, the DTU and the National University of Singapore, their plans also include a shark preservation program.

A 99-year search
And finally a Danish expedition team have turned history heads with the amazing find of the wreckage of a German Imperial Navy submarine from WWI that vanished 99 years ago in the North Sea.

Located about 8-10 km off the west-Jutland coast, SM UC-30 contains the remains of a 23-man crew, 18 intact mines and six torpedoes, which might mean it is destroyed if its armory cannot be safely detonated. (CPH POST)