ON BOARD THE ARCTIC SUN RISE – Clad in diving gear or oilskins and gumboots, a team of scientists and activists spent weeks in the South Atlantic, enduring storms and choppy seas to check up on a place almost no one has heard of.

Their mission: To monitor an underwater mountain for clues of global warming and plastic pollution – and vet the impact of a 12-year-old ban on trawling.

The researchers with Greenpeace sailed a thousand kilometers northwest of Cape Town, South Africa, to Vema Seamount, one of the most remarkable yet little-known features of the Blue Planet.

Undersea mountain is a test bed for sickly oceans

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