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September 19, 2014

Mountains

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© OCEANA / Enrique Talledo

 

We woke up in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, where we made a stop to stock and fix some problems with our satellite communications. We were quick as we were really looking forward to get to El Hierro and discover its depths. Still, we had to stay a whole day, which we took in advantage by trying some local food and walking around the city center.

Despite the day was overcast, when we set off to our destination we managed to see the top of Mount Teide raising its majestic 3,718 meters high above the sea level. It is the highest mountain in the country, but there are others (not emerged) with comparable sizes. This is the case of Echo or Endeavour, one of our next destinations, which has a maximum altitude of 3,200 m and its top is at 293 m depth. It is part of the mountains known as the Sahara Mountains, considered a natural extension of the Canary archipelago, forming the oceanic Canary Chain.

These mountains and all such underwater geological formations are of great importance since they are strategic areas of biodiversity, considered an oasis in the abyssal plains.

The Spanish Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) where many of these sites remain hidden. Despite some areas are protected and others are still in the process of getting protected (e.g. Cachucho, Conception Bank, Galicia Bank), the fact is that most of them remain unexplored.

 

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