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Scientists surprised to find shrimp under Antarctic ice sheet

Posted on Tuesday, March 16 2010 @ 16:13:34 CET by


NASA scientists drilled a 600-feet hole in the Antarctic ice sheet and were amazed to find complex life in this harsh environment where no light shines. The team operated on the presumption that they wouldn't find much more than a few microbes, but made a startling discovery when they lowered a camera into the 8-inch-wide hole. A shrimp-like creature came swimming by and then parked itself on the camera's cable, and scientists also pulled up a tentacle they believe came from a foot-long jellyfish. More details at AP.
Six hundred feet below the ice where no light shines, scientists had figured nothing much more than a few microbes could exist.

That's why a NASA team was surprised when they lowered a video camera to get the first long look at the underbelly of an ice sheet in Antarctica. A curious shrimp-like creature came swimming by and then parked itself on the camera's cable. Scientists also pulled up a tentacle they believe came from a foot-long jellyfish.

"We were operating on the presumption that nothing's there," said NASA ice scientist Robert Bindschadler, who will be presenting the initial findings and a video at an American Geophysical Union meeting Wednesday. "It was a shrimp you'd enjoy having on your plate."



 



 

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