The Census of Marine Life, a project that involved more than 2,000 scientists from 80 countries, has paused to announce the discovery of more than 5,000 new species.
These include bizarre and colourful creatures, like the hirsuta crab (photo, right), which was so unusual it warranted a whole new family designation. Many of the organisms produce therapeutic chemicals.
A panel of scientists presented these preliminary insights from the decade-long census at the American Association for the Advancement of Science annual meeting in San Diego. The final report will be released in October.