Scientists explore a 'jacuzzi of death' beneath the sea

The brine pool. (Ocean Exploration Trust)

The brine pool. (Ocean Exploration Trust)

Scientists have sent back eerie photos from deep under the Gulf of Mexico of what's been called a "jacuzzi of death," a salty lake with a pretty coastline sitting at the bottom of the sea.

The formation is actually a brine pool, and because the undersea body of water is so salty and low in oxygen, it’s deathly for critters, like fish and crabs, that end up in it.

Crew members from a research ship, the E/V Nautilus, have referred to the undersea lake as the “jacuzzi of despair." The brine pool has an “ominous crater-like image on seafloor maps,” according to the Nautilus website. The research vessel explored the rare formation and posted photographs and video of it.

The water in the pool is warmer than the rest of the sea, too— hence the jacuzzi nickname.

“It's warm, but super salty," Scott Wankel, a scientist with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution said, according to Seeker. “When [marine creatures] fall in they die and get pickled and preserved."

The pool of death is roughly 82 feet across and is thousands of feet below the surface of the ocean, and while it might be hazardous for most sea life, it is fascinating looking, with edges that have “a  jewel-like rim,” according to the Nautilus Exploration Program.

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