The Deepest Dive in Antarctica Reveals a Sea Floor Teeming With Life


In a way, we’ve come to the ends of the Earth. It’s only a little bit more over a century that people were pushing across the Antarctic on land and exploring it, but the deep ocean around Antarctica is just as blank to us now as it was 200 years ago. We have the technology to reach into the ocean depths. It’s such a mix of emotions— it is exciting, it is thrilling, and yet, it’s also slightly terrifying. You’re not quite sure what the outcome is going to be, but if you reach into the unknown, you are gonna come back with something that you didn’t have before. No one has previously dived 2,000 meters in Antarctica. It’s a huge opportunity to be involved in this kind of exploration. You’re just seeing the world with fresh eyes for the first time. RADIO: Control, control, Deep Rover. My depth: 1,000 meters. Oh, we’re really seeing some krill now. They’re starting to come in. Krill are one of the most important parts of the ecosystem here. They are food for so many of the inhabitants here, and they’re so numerous they really dominate the oceans around here. These particles we’ve seen raining down are marine snow. Iit’s organic material that’s sinking to the seabed and it’s food here. It’s thicker than I’ve ever seen it anywhere else in the world’s oceans. That’s beautiful. It’s incredibly rich marine life we’re seeing here, It’s a sort of a living carpet. Just on one rock, I counted more than a dozen species, just by eye. That oxygen-rich water that’s sinking past us is really giving us this lush, living landscape. Look at that ice fish just ahead. Oh, nice one. Nice one… Nadir, Rover. We’ve got a big “death star” over here… One of the animals that’s amazed us, we’ve nicknamed the “death star.” It’s an Antarctic Sun sea star. It’s got up to 50 arms, and the tops of the arms are covered with tiny little pincers that immediately snap shut when anything brushes past them. There aren’t many fish predators that can cope with the cold conditions here, so it can wave its fishing rod arms about and they don’t get bitten off. It’s actually like traveling back in time. It’s the invertebrates, it’s the animals without backbones that dominate and dominate as predators, and that’s how the oceans were more than 250 million years ago. What we’re doing right now is exploration in its purest sense. We are seeing parts of our planet no one has seen before, that no one has ever visited before. If we all share in the exploration of our planet, then we will appreciate it. We’ll all feel involved in its stewardship for the future.

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