After a decade of joint work and scientific adventure, marine explorers from more than 80 countries delivered a historic first global Census of Marine Life.

In one of the largest scientific collaborations ever conducted, more than 2,700 Census scientists spent over 9,000 days at sea on more than 540 expeditions, plus countless days in labs and archives.

An amazingly beautiful crab, named Kiwa hirsuta for its hairy appearance, discoverd in the Pacific south of Easter Island, was one of the more than 5,000 new species found during census.

A Christmas tree worm (Spirobranchus giganteus) found at Lizard Island.

Link to a New York Times slide show of the marine life found:

One of the more interesting findings was that there may be up to 1 billion kinds of marine microbes — more than 100 times more diverse than plants and animals — and as many as 38,000 kinds of microbes in a typical liter of sea water.

The numbers:

2700 – Scientists involved
9000 – Days at sea scientists spent on 540 expeditions
2600 – Research papers produced
28,000,000 – Observations collected in a database created for the census
650,000,000 – Global investment in US dollars
1,000,000 – Estimated number of species in the ocean, excluding microbes
250,000 – Species formally described in the literature
1200 – New species described by census scientists since 2000
5000 – Estimated number of new species collected during the census not yet described
18,000,000 – Microbial DNA sequences collected

What is your favorite sea creature?

What is the longest sea voyage you have been on?