Saving the Strange

Chile’s new Nazca-Desventuradas National Park gives protections to the wet and wild and weird.

October 06, 2015

Chile’s waters are now home to the largest marine reserve in the Americas. The country is currently hosting the Our Ocean conference, which urges participating leaders to make voluntary commitments to protect the marine ecosystem. Yesterday, President Michelle Bachelet unveiled the creation of Nazca-Desventuradas National Park, a marine protected area spanning about 115,000 square miles off the Desventuradas Islands, some 530 miles from the Chilean coast. (The United States also announced new protections for waters stateside.)

The MPA designation, which makes the area off-limits to fishing and other extractive activities, will help to maintain an intact, biodiverse ecosystem for scientists to study. Much of the life there, like the Juan Fernandez fur seal and the Chilean sandpiper fish, lives nowhere else in the world. And much of it is, well…just plain bizarre. The above National Geographic video introduces 10 of the wonderful weirdos who will thrive under their newfound protections.

onEarth provides reporting and analysis about environmental science, policy, and culture. All opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the policies or positions of NRDC. Learn more or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

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