Bizarre sea creatures – never seen before – have been discovered beneath the ice in Antarctica by baffled researchers. The organisms are similar to aliens and were found during the filming of the science documentary The Secrets of Antarctica.
The scientific expedition is underway and is made up of an international team, which uses cutting-edge technology to “sweep” the seabed.
Among the discoveries were sea lilies called crinoids, which had only been seen before in the fossil record. Other bizarre findings are sponges, which do not have a nervous or digestive system, and feed by filtering water through their pores.
“The reason for this is that the Antarctic continental shelf has been isolated from the rest of the planet for many, many years,” says Dave Bowden, one of the expedition’s leaders.
The scientist also explains how he found a sea spider that has very large legs and a tiny body. “The marine spider is one of the most intriguing groups in Antarctica, because they are so much more diverse than the rest of the world, they grow disproportionately. There’s a tendency in some groups to lean towards gigantism, basically it’s all legs, essentially there’s no body, it’s unlike anything we know.”
“Another magnificent example is a polychaete worm, you will find them under a rock, but what we find is much, much larger [than usual]. There is debate as to whether Antarctica is the reason these things are bigger, or whether there are only lineages of this animal that evolved here and don’t exist anywhere else,” he added.