May 26

Weird Sea Creatures Discovered in Antartica

There is nothing more interesting than to find new species of animal no human eye has ever seen before. During the voyage of an international team of scientists aboard the German vessel Polarstern between 2002-2005, the team had great success taking home several new sea creatures never before seen by humans. To find these creatures, they had to go where no man has ever gone before. They explored the deep Weddell Sea and nearby seas, going to depths of about 2,300 to 19,700 feet (700 to 6,000 meters). It was called the Antarctic Benthic Deep-Sea Biodiversity Project, or ANDEEP.

This baby isopod Ceratoserolis (above) is one of 585 new species of isopod- a type of marice crustatcean related to wood lice.

This glass sponge was one of 76 sponge species found during expeditions. The deep-sea fauna found during the trips now challenged a belief that the ocean depths do not nurture a diversity of animals. According to marine biologist Katrin Linse, in other oceans the number of species drops the deeper you go. In the Southern Ocean, the trend was the opposite.

This is a male Munna, another organism the team managed to find during the expedition.

More than 700 new species discovered during the research efforts provide the first insights into the biodiversity of the oceans around Antarctica. The difficulty in exploring the Antarctica has now been remedied by technology and it will no longer remain an enigma to scientists.

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