In pics - Marine life in newly explored Antarctic river deep beneath the ice

Updated: Jun 06, 2022, 06:12 PM(IST)

A team of scientists from New Zealand came across a whole ecosystem of marine life almost 500 metres under the ice in Antarctica. According to the studies, it was determined to be around hundreds of kilometres from the edge of the Ross Ice Shelf.

‘Hidden world’ of marine life in Antarctica | Source: NIWA / Craig Stevens |

The findings came from the Antarctica New Zealand institution which supported a number of researchers from universities in Wellington, Auckland and Otago, the National Institute of Water and Atmospherics (Niwa) and Geological and Nuclear Sciences.


Surprising findings | Source: NIWA / Craig Stevens |

“For a while, we thought something was wrong with the camera, but when the focus improved, we noticed a swarm of arthropods around 5mm in size,” said NIWA’s Craig Stevens according to The Guardian.


Shrimp-like creatures | Photo: NIWA/Craig Stevens |

The organisms found in the frozen river under the ice were determined to be shrimp-like amphipods - little creatures from the same lineage as lobsters, crabs and mites.


Network of lakes and rivers | Source: NIWA / Craig Stevens |

The researchers said that they have been aware of a network of freshwater lakes underneath the ice in Antarctica but this is a major breakthrough in understanding the ecosystem of those water bodies.


Antarctic research site | Photo: NIWA/ Craig Stevens |

The team of researchers have left instruments deep inside the water bodies and they will further studying the ecosystem and various marine organisms present.


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