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Foreign kelp found in Antarctica

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Australian Associated PressJULY 17, 20181:00AM

The mysterious discovery in Antarctica of a type of kelp not known to exist in its icy waters has scientists wondering whether the frozen continent is as biologically isolated as they have long believed.

Using genomic tests, Australian and Chilean scientists identified the kelp as a species native to the remote South Georgia islands off the coast of Argentina and the Kerguelen Islands, southwest of Western Australia.

They believe the kelp "surfed" 20,000km to King George Island, just off the Antarctica Peninsula, after getting caught up in storms that helped it breach the Southern Ocean's strong polar winds and currents.

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