Russian Scientists in Antarctica battle Organism 46b, Antarctic Creature, Lake Vostok Octopus


The ancients believed in monsters of the deep,
serpents hiding under the waves, threatening to capsize the heavy crawling ships of men. Today there is no ocean or lake that has not
been probed, and found wanting for sea monsters. Except for the freshwater lakes buried beneath
the ice of Antarctica. There is a hidden continent under the ice
cap of Antarctica. Ground penetrating radar established the existence
of hundreds of lakes on this continent. Because of pressure exerted by the ice, these
lakes are not frozen. They are liquid, containing fresh water that
has been isolated for at least 15 million years. The largest of these is Lake Vostok, covered
by a glacier two miles thick. On top of the ice sits the Russian Vostok
Research Station. It took ten years for the Soviets to drill
a vertical tunnel in the ice in which a special elevator was built, designed to hold a single
man. In 2012 the eliptical drill bit finally reached,
down to the eastern shore of the lake. A team of eight scientists was lowered to the original
surface of the continent, one man at a time. What followed was a closely guarded state
secret, until a Russian scientist defected to the West. Dr. Anton Padalka was a member of the Soviet
research team. He became a defector after learning his government
had military plans for a discovery made in Antarctica. Granted sanctuary in Switzerland, Dr. Padalka
disclosed the existence of a life form native to Lake Vostok… a strange and lethal creature
designated as Organism 46-B. During a scuba dive for which they required low-temperature wetsuits, the creature was encountered on day one of the expedition. Organism 46b is a species of giant octopus,
but with 14 arms rather than eight. It shares traits of its nearest known relative,
“vitreledonella richardi”, the glass octopus, which hunts by paralyzing its prey with venom,
then seizes and dismembers the food source, cutting it into bits with a powerful beak. But 46b can do one thing that its smaller
cousin cannot. It can paralyze from a distance of 150 feet
because its venom is contained in the sac that is normally used for expelling ink. Expedition member Alexis Vindogradov, the
radio operator, met his end in this way, and the radio was lost. Like the Mimic Octopus of the Indo-Pacific,
46-B has remarkable powers of camouflage. The Mimic physically changes its form to resemble
one of fifteen other aquatic species, such as a lion fish, or a sea snake, or a jellyfish. Again organism 46-B takes this ability one
step further. Dr. Padalka witnessed the creature in the
shape of a human diver. They thought it was a member of the team swimming
toward them. The scientist nearest to the creature, a marine
biologist, became the second researcher to expire when the organism resumed its
shape and wounded him mortally. At this point the expedition chief, A.M. Yelagin, decided to use a specimen tank to
capture the organism. The only female member of the team, Dr. Marta
Kalashnik, was used to lure 46b, not because she is a woman, but because as a former professional
athlete, she was judged best able to defend herself. The trap was a success, but one of the sea
creature’s arms confronted her. Kalashnik was forced to use her axeto defend herself. According to Dr. Padalka, when the man-eater
was brought to the surface it was confiscated immediately by Soviet security. The international press was told nothing was
found. The entrance to the hole was plugged. Russian President Vladimir Putin now intends
to weaponize the venom of the prehistoric beast.

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