Health & Environment, International

Here’s a Creepy Scientific Discovery From Antarctica

A never-before-seen ecosystem lurks in an underground river deep below the icy surface in Antarctica. Researchers recently brought this “hidden world” into the light, revealing a dark and jagged cavern filled with swarms of tiny, shrimplike creatures.

The scientists found the secret subterranean habitat tucked away beneath the Larsen Ice Shelf — a massive, floating sheet of ice attached to the eastern coast of the Antarctic peninsula that famously birthed the world’s largest iceberg in 2021. Satellite photos showed an unusual groove in the ice shelf close to where it met with the land, and researchers identified the peculiar feature as a subsurface river, which they described in a statement. The team drilled down around 1,640 feet (500 meters) below the ice’s surface using a powerful hot-water hose to reach the underground chamber.

When the researchers sent a camera down through the icy tunnel and into the cavern, hundreds of tiny, blurry flecks in the water obscured the video feed. Initially, the team thought their equipment was faulty. But after refocusing the camera, they realized that the lens was being swarmed by tiny crustaceans known as amphipods. This caught the team off guard, as they had not expected to find any type of life this far below the icy surface. Read more…

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