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Science & Technology

Swarm of creatures found deep beneath Antarctic ice

June 16, 2022 | Comment icon 3 comments

Nobody expected to find so much life at such a depth. Image Credit: NIWA / Craig Stevens
Scientists have discovered a hidden ecosystem deep down beneath the ice of Antarctica's Larsen Ice Shelf.
This fascinating 'hidden world', which is situated 1,600ft beneath the ice, was discovered when researchers spotted an unusual groove in the ice shelf on satellite photographs.

Upon closer inspection, they found that this feature was indicative of a subsurface river.

When they drilled down into the ice to investigate, at first their camera seemed to be obscured by hundreds of strange blurry flecks. Upon focusing, however, they realized that these were in fact hundreds of small shrimp-like creatures that were swarming the lens.
Their presence was unexpected as there was not thought to be any life at all at such a depth.

"Having all those animals swimming around our camera means there's clearly an important ecosystem process happening there," said oceanographer Craig Stevens.

Scientists had long suspected that there was a network of subsurface rivers and lakes beneath the ice and this latest discovery not only confirms this, but also opens up the door to the possibility of other ecosystems hidden hundreds of feet beneath the surface.

Source: Live Science | Comments (3)

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by jethrofloyd 12 days ago
This could be the same on the Jupiter's moon Europa.
Comment icon #2 Posted by Splendor Solis 12 days ago
Just let us know when these things burrow under a scientist's skin, turning that scientist into a flesh-eating mutant, ready to turn others into mutants. This has the makings of a very interesting new pandemic.
Comment icon #3 Posted by Abramelin 9 days ago
I guess that's one of the reasons those scientists got exited.

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