The icy continent is of great interest to scientists as it is a totally unspoilt landscape where they can study the history of the Earth and the effects of climate change. Thousands of scientists reside there, drilling below the ice to get a better idea of the icy continent’s past. However, Expedition Antarctica took things one step further in their new documentary “The Secrets of Antarctica”.
The team of scientists embarked on a journey through the surrounding waters of Antarctica to uncover some of the most bizarre marine life known to man.
Thankfully, cameras were around to capture one of the most surreal moments, when leading scientist Andrew Stewart made a fascinating discovery.
The narrator explained: “Santa’s sack has delivered a special gift for Andrew.
“Snailfish are poorly understood and Andrew may have found a new species.
Antarctica scientists uncovered a bizarre creature
The team smashed through the Antarctic ice
ometimes along comes the kind of discovery that blows biologists out of the water
“The sea holds a dizzying variety of fish to baffle and thrill marine biologists.
“Nature even saw fit to make about 115 species of Andrew’s snailfish.
“But, sometimes along comes the kind of discovery that blows biologists out of the water.”
The video then showed Dr Stewart in awe of his new find, before he exclaimed his excitement.
He said: “This is why I came to Antarctica, seeing things like this.
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They then sweeped the ocean floor
“It’s just beyond words.
“We now have whole families of fish that are found nowhere else in the world except in the Southern Ocean.
“These are fascinating animals.”
Since 2006, researchers from Germany, Italy, New Zealand and the US have been drilling through ice, water and rock to recover core samples in a programme known as the Antarctic Drilling Project (ANDRIL).
During this project, scientists discovered a four-million-year-old piece of wood that has helped researchers to map out Antarctica’s past.
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Mr Stewart was very happy with his find
There were seveal bizarre creatures found
David Harwood, who is part of the team scanning the frozen desert, said: “This is a piece of southern beech.
“This wood is not fossilised in the sense that if it is petrified it could still burn.
“To find the wood and leaves together is pretty phenomenal, it’s really phenomenal for Antarctica.
“It dates back to a period of about four million years ago.”
The team caught buckets full of fish
ANDRILL scientists also dug deep below the surface to take ice core samples and reveal their results to viewers.
The narrator detailed one of particular interest.
He said: “They recover a 12-foot length of core wrapped in a protective cover.
“Workers carefully take it back to the lab to be examined, when they crack it open, it’s in perfect condition.
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“This mud and rock is more valuable than gold because each core is a time machine.
“As the cores are recovered, each section is sliced
“Each core tells a story depending on its texture, colour and contents.
“These shells are evidence of warmer times, even as Antarctica is icing up.”