The inadvertent discovery of sea life on a boulder beneath an Antarctic ice shelf challenges our understanding of how organisms can live in environments far from sunlight, according to a team of biologists.
James Smith and Paul Anker at the British Antarctic Survey drilled through the 900-metre-thick Filchner-Ronne ice shelf and dropped a camera down the hole in search of mud on the seabed. To their surprise, it revealed a boulder ringed by animals. Footage appears to show 16 sponges, accompanied by 22 unidentified animals that could include barnacles.
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