ANTARCTICA scientists made a stunning discovery 3,500 meters below the ice, prompting one to declare that they had “never seen anything like this before,” according to a documentary.
Expedition Antarctica set sail earlier this year for a 50-day voyage across the Southern Ocean and beyond the icy continent. An international team scanned the seafloor aboard New Zealand’s research vessel RV Tangaroa using cutting-edge technology. The Aegis imaging system enabled scientists to capture images that were previously unseen.
While the mission is still ongoing, the documentary “The Secrets of Antarctica” was released on YouTube in July, revealing the incredible discoveries to date.
“Having braved ice storms, broken equipment, and rough seas for nearly two months, the team braces itself for the most high-pressured assignment of them all,” the narrator explained.
“They will descend 3,500 meters into the abyssal plain, nearly as far as the Swiss Alps.
“It will withstand 300 times the pressure that we do every day.
“At first, the abyssal plain appears barren, like the surface of Mars, but a closer look reveals life that no one has ever seen in Antarctica.”
However, the scientists were unable to stop there.
They wanted to get a better look at some of the marine life, so they sent down a fishing net.
“The team takes advantage of the opportunity to trawl the bottom, having deployed over 5,000 feet of cable into the sea,” the narrator continued.
“At 2:00 a.m., the beam trawl arrives, and the team receives its reward after six hours of waiting.
“12 buckets of mud and one fish.
“However, there are many delectable delights in this mud, such as this sea cucumber.
“Then Kareen [Schnabel] discovers an even more bizarre specimen.”
Dr. Schnabel, a marine biologist at New Zealand’s National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research, described her excitement.
“It has something quite interesting at the front that sort of likened it to a hippopotamus,” she told viewers.
“We don’t know how many are down there, or how common this is.
“However, I’ve never seen anything like it before.”
During their journey, the same team also discovered a new species.
The discovery stunned Andrew Stewart, a leading scientist in the excavation.
“This is why I came to Antarctica, to see things like this,” he said last month.
Dr. Stewart presented the creature to the camera.
“I have to look at features like the shape of the teeth, the jaws, the shape of the gill rakers, and vertebral counts to figure out what it is,” he exclaimed.
“I’m not sure what species this is.
“I’ve never seen anything like the color pattern on the fins.”